FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Brandon Romans and Beau Taylor should form a perfect combination behind the plate for the Knights.
ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) – Part four of the UCF baseball season preview with head coach Terry Rooney breaks down the second half of the Knights’ battery, the catchers. On Friday, UCFAthletics.com will move over to first base as well as touch on the designated hitter.
Brandon Romans – Sr. – .329, 36 GP, 16 GS, 79 AB, 10 R, 26 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, .989 FLD%
Keith Simon – So. – Attended Greensboro College last year
Beau Taylor – Fr. – Florida Today All-First Team member for Rockledge HS
Also Could See Time
Shane Brown – Jr. – UCF’s starting third baseman, made 12 starts at catcher as a freshman
Kiko Vazquez – Sr. – UCF’s starting first baseman, suited up at catcher occasionally during the fall
Robert Lara may have only donned a UCF uniform for one season, but his energy behind the plate was a big reason he went on have a solid professional season in the minors last summer. While replacing a catcher can be a daunting task, Brandon Romans enters his senior season boasting 51 starts in two seasons with the Knights and batted close to .330 during 2008.
“We are very excited about our catching core this year,” said Rooney. “I think our catching has a chance to be a strong suit for this team. We have a nice combination back there with senior Brandon Romans and Taylor. Romans has done a fantastic job for me as a leader from the moment I accepted this job. He is a guy who has improved dramatically behind the plate on his catching and receiving skills by working with coach Godwin. Offensively, he has an opportunity to hit with some power.
“To start out the year, Brandon will be our starting catcher, but we also feel very confident in freshman Beau Taylor. They compliment each other very nicely. Beau has an outstanding awareness at the plate and has the ability to drive some balls out of the yard.
“Shane Brown is another guy who could see some time back there. He primarily will play third base but it’s nice to have that option. And Keith Simon adds to the tremendous depth we have at this position. When we tried Kiko Vazquez at catcher in the fall that was just to see what we had. I’m not going to say Kiko won’t catch for us at some point, but he caught in the fall because I knew without any question that this kid is one of the best hitters in the country. So we said, `how can we make sure his bat gets in the lineup on a consistent basis, while still giving this team a chance to win?’ The more positions guys can play, the more it helps you from a balance standpoint.”