College Baseball Countdown: 5 Days to Go- C.J. Chatham

C.J. ChathamLast year, the Florida Atlantic Owls rode a dynamic offense to a 42-19 overall record and a place as the two seed in the Gainesville regional. As a team, they hit .300/.395/.440 and averaged nearly seven runs per game.

The team lost several top hitters from that team, including leading hitter Brendon Sanger, the team’s co-leader in doubles and home runs in Ricky Santiago, and the top RBI man in Roman Collins, but the cupboard is far from bare, thanks in large part to the return of shortstop C.J. Chatham.

In 2015, the Fort Lauderdale native hit .330 with 22 doubles, three triples, three home runs, and 44 RBI on his way to being named First-Team All-Conference USA. Although his 22 doubles meant that he shared the team lead with the aforementioned Santiago, it was a total good enough for that duo to lead the conference.

Those numbers were a big jump from his numbers as a freshman, which were really quite good as well. In that season, he hit .300 with 11 doubles, four homers, and 26 RBI.

His accomplishments have been enough to put Chatham on the radar for the 2016 MLB Draft. recently ranked him 72nd on their list of top 300 college prospects. Coming into this season, they also have him listed as Conference USA’s projected Player of the Year, and the Owls are going to need him to be that type of player for the team to get back into a regional in 2016.

In addition to all of those losses on the offense, they will also be without top pitchers from a year ago such as Drew Jackson, Kyle Miller, and Seth McGarry.

Chatham will team with Stephen Kerr (.307, 10 doubles, 15 SB) and Christian Dicks (.268, 8 HR, 39 RBI) to lead the offense, while Brandon Rhodes (4-1, 3.78) returns to do the same for the pitching staff.

FAU has a lot of questions to answer for the team to be anywhere close to as good as they were last year, but having a true superstar in the order can carry a team a long way, and it appears the Owls have that in C.J. Chatham.

About the Author

Joseph Healy
Growing up in Houston, Joe Healy was introduced to college baseball at a young age, and it was love at first sight. Like most good love stories, that love has only grown throughout the years. When he's not at the ballpark, he enjoys tacos, college football during the fall, and the spectacle that is American politics. He holds a B.A. in political science from Sam Houston State University and a Master's in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville.