Junior Cal catcher Andrew Knapp becomes the first Golden Bear since 2009 to be tabbed a first-team…
Countdown to First Pitch: Chris Paul
California infielder Chris Paul is expected to be a big contributor in the middle of the lineup in his sophomore season in Berkeley, as the Golden Bears embark on the 2013 season on Feb. 15.
Cal kicks off the campaign with a three-game set against Michigan, which finished last season 22-33 and 8-15 in the Big 10. The Wolverines enjoyed success at the tail end of the last decade, with a run of three straight conference championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008, but have not been to the postseason since 2008.
In his rookie season, Paul hit .239 in 29 games, with 24 starts. He scored nine runs, tallied six doubles and one home run, while driving in 15. He was one of the top recruits in the 2011 class, and with injuries hampering first basemen Devon Rodriguez and Nick Halamandaris, is expected to play first, until returning to the left side of the infield once Rodriguez is healthy enough to assume his duties in the field.
Paul has seemingly fixed the hitch in his swing and is hitting line drives with greater frequency during fall and spring scrimmages. Paul is athletic enough with a strong enough arm to play the outfield in emergencies, but his home will likely be shortstop or third base.