Price names 2018 baseball captains
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head coach Ritch Price announced Wednesday that seniors Tanner Gragg and Owen Taylor, and redshirt-sophomore Brendt Citta will handle captains’ duties for the 2018 season.
“These guys are three outstanding young men, who are not only very good baseball players, but outstanding students and representatives of our program,” Price said. “They have earned great respect from other players and coaches in our program. I am looking forward to the leadership they will provide throughout the season.”
The trio is each holding the honor of captain for the first time in their careers and represents what the Kansas baseball program is all about.
“We have a lot of quality men in our program,” Price said. “When we sit down and make these kinds of decisions, we want to pick young men who are great representatives in our program in every aspect of a student-athletes’ life. We look for young men who are invested in the program and have given back, and are great teammates. These three exemplify those traits and care more about the success of the team than they do about their own individual accomplishments.”
A senior catcher, Gragg found himself splitting duties regularly behind the dish in 2017, where he played in 37 games, making 27 starts. He batted .244 (20-of-82) with four doubles and one home run. He posted a .988 fielding percentage and threw out a theam-best 11 base runners a year ago. He was named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team. He has been a four-year member of the team, and staple for Price on and off the field.
Taylor was a regular for Kansas at first base in 2017, playing in 56 games and making 35 starts. He batted .291 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run and 11 RBIs. He posted the third-highest fielding percentage (.986) for the Jayhawks having had the most chances at 353. He is another four-year guy for Price and has played in 128 games during his time, and holds a .271 batting average in 303 at bats.
Citta, an outfielder who transferred from San Jose State, sat out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He played one season for the Spartans before transferring to KU. At San Jose, Citta started 46 of the 50 games he played in as a true freshman. He batted .230 with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and a team-best 26 RBIs. It is because of his unwavering work ethic and his team-first mentality that earned him the respect of his peers in such a short time.
For the first time since 2002, the Jayhawks open the 2018 season at Hoglund Ballpark with a three-game series against Murray State, Feb. 16-18. All three games will be available on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN and ESPN app on multiple streaming platforms.
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