NOW PLAYING FOR UH...
A healthy Marcus Doi provides UH with a complete skill set, as well as lineup options
Like no-hit bids and fast-paced games, Marcus Doi’s good health is acknowledged with silent hopefulness. Doi is a left fielder with speed, gap strength and a dependable glove. His talent was recognized following his senior year at Mid-Pacific, when he was the Chicago Cubs’ 25th-round pick (738th overall) in the 2013 draft. (Kris Bryant was their top selection that year.)
But in his first three UH seasons, Doi has missed 61 games because of injuries. He missed the second half of his freshman season because of an injury. As a sophomore, he was out a month because of an injury. He missed six games last year after suffering an ankle injury in the season-opening series.
Doi was healthy during the fall and this training period, providing leadership, experience and lineup options.
“He’s a good player,” coach Mike Trapasso said. “He can do a lot of things for you. He can drive balls. He can really run. He’s capable of hitting .300. He’s capable of playing at the next level.” Trapasso said Doi has patience and speed to bat leadoff, although he likely will open the season in the middle of the lineup.
Dylan Vchulek, who won the center fielder’s job, is expected to bat first. At Bellevue (Wash.) College last year, Vchulek hit .360 and stole 12 bases.
“He’s really come on in our spring scrimmages,” Trapasso said. “He’s one of our better runners. Center field is about getting good jumps and running balls down. He’s got a good arm — good enough to hit the cut-off man. That’s all you’re looking for.
Trapasso said Vchulek has shown patience in working counts and getting on base.
Last year, Ethan Lopez made the midseason move from the infield to hit .302 with two of the Rainbow Warriors’ six home runs. “He brings great energy and toughness and he can run,” Trapasso said of the ’Bows’ only switch-hitter. “The corner outfielders need to give you production. That’s what we think Lopez can do. We have no reason to think he can’t do that this year.” Speedy Alex Fitchett and Adam Fogel can play the three outfield positions. They each ran the 60-yard dash in a team-best 6.6 seconds. Fogel is 6 feet 5; Fitchett is 6-4. Two left-hitting outfielders — Jedd Andrade and Jacob Sniffin — probably will open the season as pinch hitters. Troy Kakugawa, a walk-on who started his career at Puget Sound, might help as a late-inning pinch runner.