Tennessee Baseball in the Knoxville Super Regional. Photo by Ric Butler/Rocky Top Insider.
Tennessee Baseball freshman outfielder Alex Stanwich will be taking a semester off for personal reasons this Spring, Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello announced Friday.
Vitello said the team expects Stanwich back in the fold this fall.
Freshman outfielder Alex Stanwich will be taking a semester off for personal reasons, according to Tony Vitello.
Vitello says that he is expected to be back in the fall.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) January 27, 2023
Stanwich is a Lincoln-Way East High School product out of Frankfort, Illinois, and was ranked as the 29th overall outfielder in the 2022 class by Perfect Game USA. Perfect Game also ranked the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder as the sixth-highest overall player in Illinois in the ’22 class and the second-highest outfielder.
Stanwich figured to serve as one of Tennessee’s top players in the outfield rotation, along with fellow freshmen Dylan Dreiling and Reese Chapman.
Vitello said this offseason that Stanwich, Chapman and Dreiling all have the opportunity to make significant impacts while at Tennessee.
During Friday’s media availability, Vitello added that Dreiling and Champan “should be thinking the time is now” in regards to how they will impact the team this season.
Vitello on Reese Chapman and Dylan Dreiling: “They should be thinking the time is now.”
— Ryan Schumpert (@rschump00) January 27, 2023
More From RTI: Where Tennessee Lands in Baseball America’s Preseason Top 25
Tennessee lost its all starters from the infield and outfield last season, but the Vols are bringing in a plethora of talent. Returners Jared Dickey, Christian Moore and Blake Burke figure to be key pieces in Tennessee’s lineup, and highly touted transfers Maui Ahuna and Griffin Merritt will make an immediate impact.
Additionally, Dreiling and Chapman will have a role, and incoming catcher Cal Stark and infielder Jake Kendro have received praise from Tennessee’s returning ace Chase Dollander this offseason. Stark isn’t the only junior college product that could make an impact, as former Walters State star Colby Backus could make an impact in the outfield and at the plate, as well.
The Vols are No. 2 in the majority of preseason polls, as expectations are high for Vitello’s program after a 57-9 season in 2022. Tennessee begins their season against Arizona in Scottsdale, Arizona, as part of the MLB Desert Invitational. First pitch between the Vols and Wildcats is set for 8 p.m. ET on Friday, February 17.