A healthy Mar­cus Doi pro­vides UH with a com­plete skill set, as well as lineup op­tions

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - HAWAII BASEBALL PREVIEW -

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.

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