The Santa Fe Saints begin their 2023 baseball season at home against TNXL Academy on Friday. Santa Fe is coming off a 2022 season that saw them missing the state tournament for the first time since 2014 with a 27-24 overall record. Head coach Johnny Wiggs is entering his 17th year with the program in what has been am outstanding tenure with the team. Wiggs has led the team to nine conference championships to go along with two FCSAA State Championships.
The Saints are coming into this season with a team that, for possibly the first time ever, has no returning starters. Wiggs spoke about the status of his roster and the mix of guys on the team.
With tons of new editions comes excitement with certain players. Starting on the mound, Wiggs has a number of transfers and returning players who are ready and able to pitch at a high level.
As young as this team is, it is important for them to find their identity as a baseball club. Wiggs spoke about what he believes this team’s identity can be and how some new additions can help make that happen.
Taking advantage of the transfer portal can result in upgrades to the roster in multiple ways. However, utilization of transfers depends on the coach and how he views the value of transfers compared to high school recruits. Wiggs spoke about how he uses the transfer portal and what his priority is while recruiting.
Changes in the transfer portal have affected how JUCO schools like Santa Fe can make the most out of it. Wiggs spoke about the disadvantages of the new rules and how it has affected recruiting at Santa Fe.
First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday and the team will also play two games on Saturday. Game one will be against Indian River State College and game two will be against South Florida State College.