Josemberger offers Diamond Hogs a strong leadoff option

After mixing and matching starting point throughout the 2022 season, head coach Dave Van Horn may already have his go-to guy at the top of the order.

Kansas move Tavian Josenberger led the team with 18 runs, eight walks, a .522 on-base percentage and 1.306 OPS during the fall season, according to statistics compiled by Arkansas media. He also added 15 hits, five doubles, seven RBI and struck out 11 times.

Josenberger, who played in midfield this fall, has a chance to provide Arkansas with a solid lead bat, something they struggled to find at times last year.

“He missed the first week of the crash recovering from a small injury,” said Van Horn on Oct. 14. “He’s been really good at the top of the order since the day he’s back in the lineup. It’s good to see.”

Van Horn gave that answer after the Hogs won their second game in two days against the Texas Rangers Instructional League team, a game in which Josenberger hit a three-run homer 364 feet on the opposite field.

The Kansas City, Missouri native who hits rallies said hitting the ball out of the park is something he’s been working on, but it’s not a mindset when he approaches the plate.

“I’ve been working on it a bit,” Josemberger said. “I wouldn’t say I go up there trying to hit the ball out of the baseball field.”

During his two seasons at Kansas, Josemberger scored with a . 296 average and a . 374 OBP. He amassed 54 RBI and hit three homers, which was the same amount he hit in just 37 at bats during the Fall.

Josemberger played center field with the Jayhawks his freshman year but moved to second base last year. With Arkansas losing all three of its starting outfielders last year–Braydon Webb, Chris Lanzilli and Zack Gregory-Josenberger said he knew he was likely coming to Fayetteville to fill the position he held as a freshman.

“I didn’t really care,” Josemberger said. “(Van Horn) told me that if I was the best center fielder, I would play center field. If I was the best second baseman, I would play second base. I had the idea that I would come here to play the outfield. I just want to be on the pitch, so wherever it’s needed, I’ll play.”

Coming to Arkansas was a decision Josenberger made because he said he wanted to be a part of a winning atmosphere and a winning culture. He quickly earned his ranks in the fall and earned the respect of his teammates.

“He’s a bit of an emotional leader for us, too,” Van Horn said. “I can tell the kids gravitate to him and respect him. He’s involved.”

Josenberger and the Diamond Hogs will begin their season February 17 against the Texas Longhorns in the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The first launch is set for 7:00 PM CT.

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