Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

ASU baseball adds depth to a new-look roster in 2024

Days away from taking the field, the Sun Devils recap the biggest takeaways from offseason preparations


Then ASU redshirt sophomore pitcher Jonah Giblin (40) pitching to a UA batter at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix on Sunday, March 26, 2023. ASU won 10-6.

After a hard fall-off last spring where ASU baseball lost 11 of its final 15 regular season games and failed to reach the NCAA Baseball Tournament, the program shifted into a high gear by recruiting a set of new arms and filling gaps in the lineup.

Over the offseason, the coaching staff signed 18 freshmen - nine hitters and nine pitchers - hoping to construct a solid foundation for years to come. During the search, head coach Willie Bloomquist sought local talent, adding four new players from Arizona. 

ASU’s freshman class was ranked No. 23 in the nation, with two-way star Cole Carlon out of Tempe's Corona Del Sol leading the charge.

"Our local players have a little extra pride growing up here and playing for ASU," Bloomquist said. "As a staff, that was something that we wanted to do, maintaining local talent. Having guys that are homegrown have a little extra sense of maroon and gold in their blood, which is great and very important to the program."

Growing up playing against each other in the Valley and connecting now as Sun Devils means a lot for players like freshman right-handed pitcher Josh Butler

"It’s been awesome playing alongside guys I have seen in the past," Butler said. "Being able to play with local guys is pretty important because we’re all home and comfortable with where we are, and we’re all very proud to be here at ASU." 

While having fresh talent is excellent in itself, adapting to the team comes with a lot of extra work for the coaching staff. Bloomquist said the freshman pitchers practiced against the experienced members of the team in order to quickly acclimate them to the skill level of college hitters.

"Having our freshmen face our guys during practice is a great way to let them know that this isn’t high school anymore," Bloomquist said. "They can't make mistakes, and they got to make good pitches. They have to learn how to bounce back. Some weeks, they’re going to come out and look good, others not so much. It’s all a big learning process."

Right now, the most prominent goal for ASU is figuring out their new rotation and roster. The team announced Thursday that freshman pitcher Thomas Burns will take the mound Friday to begin the 2024 season. It will be the first time an ASU freshman opened the season since 2006. Senior Connor Markl will take the mound on Saturday following opening night, and senior Tyler Meyer will start the series finale on Sunday.

Despite knowing the starters for the weekend, the Sun Devils will still have 12 arms and 30 bats to sort through at the beginning of the season.

“It's a mature group, so they know they're going to have to come out and contribute right away,” pitching coach Sam Peraza said. “They're gonna have some struggles, especially early, but I'm hoping that if we give them enough experience as we get into the meat of the season … they'll be ready to go.”

With all these new names in the locker room, the Sun Devils still have their fair share of veterans with leadership experience who ASU will depend on to help guide the young group. The majority of the upperclassmen's strength comes from position players such as junior catcher Ryan Campos

"The young guys have been pretty impressive," Campos said. "I’m proud of how they’ve all been working so far and how they fit into our work here. I’m looking forward to seeing them get going and being able to help them out."

Having a veteran catcher like Campos plays a critical role with the freshman on the mound. Having an experienced player behind the plate will help bring a sense of calm to these recently developed arms in stressful situations. 

Campos was named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team along with junior infielder Jacob Tobias, sophomore infielder Nu’u Contrades, redshirt sophomore outfielder Nick McLain and redshirt senior outfielder Harris Williams, with Williams as the only transfer in the Pac-12 to receive the preseason accolade.

Like years prior, ASU pitching is seemingly the main headline for this 2024 team. But, losing some big bats in Ethan Long and Will Rogers means the offense will have to find new ways to generate runs.

Long, who only played 12 games in 2023 due to a wrist injury, batted .313 with 26 home runs over three seasons with ASU and has been a vital part of the Bloomquist era. He is now in the San Diego Padres minor league system.

Rogers struggled in 2023 after batting .299 with 50 hits in his rookie season in 2022, and he is now with Michigan.

"I’ve seen some difficulty these past few games putting good bats together and finding their consistency," Bloomquist said. "I hope to see improvements in the lineup soon before the season starts up."

To combat issues within the lineup, the Sun Devils recruited a plethora of hitters to join their squad. ASU signed the No. 25 transfer class in the nation, with All-West Coast Conference infielders Williams and Mario Demera from University of San Francisco and Santa Clara’s All-West Coast Conference Eamonn Lance and Kevin Karstetter out of State College of Florida.

This will be the Sun Devils’ final season in the Pac-12, in which old rivalries will play out for the final time. The team will host six Pac-12 rivals at Phoenix Municipal Stadium - Oregon, Utah, Cal, USC, Washington, and Arizona - likely for the last time.

Among the 11 non-conference teams ASU baseball is scheduled to play, the team will face seven other opponents: Kansas State, Ohio State, UT-Arlington, New Mexico, Utah Valley, UC-San Diego, and Texas Tech. They play three games at Globe Life Stadium in Texas, where the Texas Rangers call home. The Sun Devils play two games against Texas A&M and one against TCU there.

Seven opponents on the schedule were 2023 NCAA regional qualifying teams. These challenges the Sun Devils face can only prepare them for what spring has in store.

“When you look at our schedule, there are no cupcakes … there's no layup,” Bloomquist said. “From our opening weekend to our first midweek against Kansas State. Ohio State's going to be very tough and improved with the great coaching staff that's moved up there. (Texas) A&M and TCU don't need any introduction … every game we play is going to be a difficult one.”

As ASU opens the season on Friday against Santa Clara for a three-game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Bloomquist ensures the team is ready.

“They are tough, and they’re a good team. They were a regional champion, a regional final team last year, and knocked out (Arizona), so I applaud them for that,” Bloomquist said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us opening weekend.”

Edited by Vinny DeAngelis, Walker Smith and Shane Brennan

 Reach the reporters at and and follow @laurentahuka and @ASchmidtSports on X.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on X. 

Aaron SchmidtSports Reporter

Aaron Schmidt is a sports reporter who covers ASU Baseball and ASU Women’s Golf for The State Press. He previously covered Higley High School football for AZPreps365.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.