Utah returns seven starting position players as well as two of their weekend starters on the mound. However, the 2019 Utes are still a relatively young team with 22 of the 34 players on the roster being underclassmen.
Zack Moeller returns after suffering a season-ending injury a year ago. As a sophomore in 2017, Moeller hit .265 and had 30 RBI and five home runs.
Sophomore Chris Rowan Jr. split the starting role last year but is nursing an injury at the start of the season. Freshman Jayden Kiernan and Central Arizona College transfer Chris Diehl will provide the Utes with depth behind the dish.
Second baseman Oliver Dunn, a two-year starter, earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 honors in 2018 after hitting .319 with four home runs and 31 RBI. Sophomore Rykker Tom started 54 games last season at third. He hit .298 with a .754 OPS while finishing third on the team with 29 RBI.
Matt Richardson was in the lineup 48 games at shortstop last season as a freshman, hitting .236 with 23 RBI. He is being battled for the job this season by Chase Fernlund, a junior college transfer from Feather City College. Fernlund was named the Oregon 4A State Player of the Year in high school and hit .337 last season at the JUCO level.
Sophomore Shea Kramer filled in behind the plate in 2018, but has made the switch to first base. Freshman Christian Almanza has also emerged at first and will get some time at DH.
Senior Chandler Anderson will be one of the leaders on the team and is set to start in left. He started 44 games and hit .243 with 21 RBI last season. Dominic Foscalina, who will see action in center, hit .247 and drove in 21 runs a season ago. Right fielder Erick Miguelles had a .261 batting average with a .837 OPS and the fourth most hits on the team (42). He also led the team in home runs (7) and RBI (36).
Tyler Thompson is coming off a mission and can play center or left. Isaac Devaux redshirted last year and has tremendous potential as well.
With the experience they gained a year ago, the pitching staff looks to be more consistent this season.
Brett Brocoff, Riley Pierce and Kyle Robeniol are slated to be the weekend starters. The trio combined to have 20 starts in 2018. Ian MacIver, who is coming off an injury, and Joshua Tedeschi are potential starters who otherwise figure to play major roles in the bullpen. Tedeschi could be called upon to close games if he doesn't start them.
A few freshmen could make an impact as well. One of those, Zac McCleve, may get a look as the closer. The Cyprus High School graduate was named first team all-state and the Region 4 MVP. Dustyn Schramm, a freshman from Fresno, Calif., will have a role in middle relief.
Bill Kinneberg is in his 17th season at the helm of the Utah baseball program and 25th as a head coach at the collegiate level. He has 604 career wins, including 359 during his Utah tenure. Kinneberg was named the 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year after leading the Utes to the conference championship.
Kinneberg has taken the Utes to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances, placing second in Fullerton (Calif.) in 2009 and going 1-2 in Oxford (Miss.) in 2016. Eleven Utah players have been taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft under Kinneberg, including the school's first-ever first-round selection in C.J. Cron (2011, 17th overall). Four players drafted in 2017 tied a Utah school record. Kinneberg has also established school records for wins in a season at three schools: UTEP (1985), Wyoming (1990) and Utah (1996).
Kinneberg led the USA Baseball Collegiate Team to a silver medal at the 2010 FISU World University Championships in Japan. He also went 25-12 with the 2007 U.S. National Team as its pitching coach, as the team finished with a 1.93 ERA.
Prior to joining the Utah staff, Kinneberg worked for the Chicago White Sox organization as a minor league pitching coach. From 1996-2001, Kinneberg was the associate head coach at Arizona. He served an assistant baseball coach at Arizona State from 1992-94. In his last two seasons, Kinneberg helped lead the Sun Devils to back-to-back appearances in the College World Series.
Kinneberg and his wife Janet have two sons, Joe (18) and David (16).
Gary Henderson, who has 30 years of coaching experience at Florida, Oregon State, Kentucky and Mississippi State, was named Utah’s associate head coach in June.
A seasoned veteran and one of the top pitching minds in the country, Henderson was the interim head coach for Mississippi State in 2018 and led the program to the College World Series. He was the Bulldogs’ pitching coach from 2016-17.
Henderson worked at Kentucky as an assistant from 2003-08 and head coach from 2009-16. The Wildcats won at least 30 games in five-straight seasons and rose to No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history in 2012. He was voted the 2012 SEC Coach of the Year. In 2006, the program won its first SEC Championship in baseball under the guidance of Henderson and John Cohen.
Henderson reached 200 wins faster than any head coach in Kentucky history. In his tenure with the Wildcats, 72 players were picked in the MLB Draft or signed as free agents. Eight of Henderson’s pitching protégés have reached the Majors since 2012.
Prior to Kentucky, Henderson spent five seasons as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Oregon State. The Beavers notched the school’s first College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007. Henderson coached eight Beaver pitchers who were drafted by major league teams, five of whom were selected in the top eight rounds. Two of Henderson’s OSU recruiting classes were ranked among the top 30 nationally.
Henderson served as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Florida Gators from 1995-98. In that time, he helped the Gators to the SEC Championship and the College World Series in both 1996 and 1998. Collegiate Baseball awarded national rankings to all four of Henderson's recruiting classes at Florida, including a No. 4 spot in 1996. The 1996 season also saw Collegiate Baseball tab Henderson as the National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Henderson earned a bachelor's degree in English from San Diego State and a master’s degree in sports psychology from SDSU. He and his wife, Vicki, have two sons, Alex and Ty.
Former four-time all-conference Utah infielder Jay Brossman is in his ninth season on the baseball staff. He is in his fourth year as a full-time assistant coach with the Utes, serving as hitting coach and running the offense.
Under Brossman, Dallas Carroll (2017), DaShawn Keirsey Jr. (2018) and Oliver Dunn (2019) were selected in the MLB Draft. Carroll earned All-America honors from the ABCA in 2017 and was a two-time All-Pac-12 player. Keirsey was a three-time All-Pac-12 and All-Defensive Team selection (2016-18). Dunn was a Collegiate Baseball All-American and All-Pac-12 selection (2019). All three were among the top hitters in the league during their time at Utah.
Utah had one of its best offensive seasons in 2017. Utah's .287 batting average in 2017 was its highest since the Utes joined the Pac-12 in 2012. The Utes also had Pac-12 era highs in slugging percentage (.399), on-base percentage (.375), RBI (280), hits (514) and runs scored (311). Utah ranked fourth in the league in batting average, third in on-base percentage and fourth in runs scored and RBI that season.
Brossman worked two seasons (2015-16) as the volunteer assistant coach for the Utes. He also served two years as the director of operations and one year as a student assistant coach. During his Ute playing career from 2004-07, he hit .359 and set school records for hits, doubles and total bases.
Brossman was selected in the 36th round of the 2007 MLB Draft and spent five years in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system. He was a Pioneer League All-Star in 2007. Jay and his wife Jenny have two sons, Colten and Caleb.
Parker Guinn is in his third season as a volunteer assistant coach at Utah. Guinn joined the Utes from Washington, where he was a student manager in 2017.
Guinn played three seasons at catcher for Washington (2012-14) before transferring to SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) for his senior season in 2015.
Guinn was the volunteer assistant coach at SIUE in 2016. He served as the head coach for the U16 team of the Narrows Baseball Club from 2016-17.
Guinn is originally from Las Vegas, Nev., and attended high school in Gig Harbor, Wash. He earned a degree in mass communications with a minor in business administration from SIUE in 2015.
The Utes were crowned the 2016 Pac-12 Conference champions, winning the title in one of the nation's top-rated baseball leagues that boasts a record 28 NCAA championships. Utah then made it back-to-back Pac-12 upper division finishes after tying for fifth in 2017.
Utah has advanced to NCAA Regionals twice in recent years. The Utes made their first NCAA appearance since 1960 in 2009 after winning the MWC Tournament. The Utes went 2-2 to finish as the runner-up in the Fullerton Regional. Utah went 1-2 in the Oxford Regional in 2016, getting a 10-inning win over No. 7-ranked Ole Miss in the tournament opener.
In his first stint as Utah's head coach, Bill Kinneberg led Utah a then school-record 30 wins in 1996. The team he assembled before leaving to become the associate head coach at Arizona won 36 games and captured the WAC North Division title in 1997. In Utah's final year in the Mountain West Conference, Kinneberg led Utah to 29 wins and a runner-up finish in the league.