Even with former starter Kevin Abraham returning for his final season, Pages will do the bulk of the catching for the Owls this season.
“He is on the precipice of being a star,” FAU coach John McCormack said.
Pages started about half the Owls games last season, hitting .243 with four homers and driving in 24 on the year.
Since the Owls began fall ball baseball, and carrying over into the preseason, the right-handed hitting Pages improved his plate discipline, allowing him to find his groove.
“His bat is insane right now,” said pitcher Jake Miednik, who will get the ball when the Owls open the season on Friday against George Washington.
It’s behind the plate, however, where Pages truly impresses.
McCormack called Pages’ defense “phenomenal.”
Pages threw out eight potential base stealers last season.
“You don’t see guys that throw like that behind the plate that are amateur baseball,” McCormack said.
FAU BASEBALL : What To Expect in 2018
Tyler Frank, SS, Jr. – Expectations are high for Frank. Why wouldn’t they be? One of the best hitters in program history, Frank hit .336 with 11 homers last season. Spent part of the offseason playing with Team USA.
Jake Miednik, LHP, Sr. – Led the Owls with seven victories last season, which tied for fourth most in Conference USA. Will begin the season atop FAU’s pitching rotation as the Owls’ Friday starter.
Kyle Marman, RHP, Jr. – Lost nearly 25 pounds in the past six months, which allowed him to get better control of his pitches. The Owls’ Saturday starter challenged Miednik for the Friday night role. Expects to pitch deeper into games this season.
David Miranda, RF, Sr. – Led the Owls with 12 home runs last season. Spent the offseason working on drills designed to improve his speed. One of FAU’s inspiration leaders.
Cody Wilson, CF, R-So. – McCormack thinks Wilson may be the best athlete ever to play for the Owls. Terrific defender who hit .323 at Palm Beach State last season.
Diamond Johnson, LF, Jr. – Speed demon was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of high school but turned them down. Elected to play at St. Petersburg College, where he stole 60 bases over two seasons.
Vince Coletti, RHP, Jr. – Posted an 8-3 record in two seasons at Palm Beach State, including a 5-0 record last season. Will begin the season as the Owls’ Sunday starter.
Zach Schneider, RHP, Jr. – Will get the first chance to save games for FAU. Recorded 11 saves for Polk St. College last season.
POSITION TO WATCH
Eric Rivera played the outfield last season but he’ll start the season at second base for the Owls. That’s a surprise, considering most of the spring it appeared as though either JUCO transfer Richie Nizza or true freshman Mariano Ricciardi were in line for the job. The Owls are trying to fill the spot vacated by Stephen Kerr.