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Notre Dame Baseball

Link Jarrett Notebook | Capping 2021

June 16, 2021

Notre Dame baseball coach Link Jarrett capped off the 2021 campaign on Tuesday as the Irish returned home from Starkville. 

On if he'll be coaching Notre Dame in 2022:
"Yeah, I will. If my name's not involved or mentioned in some of these things that come up, then I don't know you're pushing your own program correctly. I'm not searching for anything, but if your name is not one that's popular or appears to be doing the right things with the program, then are you really doing the right things for your own program?

"I love it here. I love these kids. These guys represent everything you could possibly ask young men to represent on the field with the way they play - the attention to detail and the way they carry themselves off the field, classroom, community. Everybody that's in contact with our program recognizes what these guys are and I love them. I love the way they handle themselves." 

On facilities:
"This third base side of our facility is very nice. To host a Regional or a Super Regional event, I feel like we need to catch up on the other side and have a little bit more of an equitable visiting restroom situation. 

"We just came from the Disney World of baseball. There are people everywhere. It's a laser light show in the place. The music and the crowd interaction, the box seating where they can bring any coolers, drinks, anything they want - you can bring anything you want in the stadium. 

"They turned that into something that is on the extraordinary of what you see in college baseball and we saw it. We wore it. It's the biggest three-game series crowd in the history of the sport. 

"I want to continue to give us the best possible opportunity to host and provide the venue that allows a national type of event to take place here. 

"That's what I want to build. I want to build a national brand baseball program. This side (third base) is great and everybody knows we just need to continue to freshen up the first base side."

On roster for next season:
"Some of the guys have options to come back here. Part of that involves getting into the right grad school program here. They have to graduate in four years from Notre Dame. It's not like that at most schools. That's a requirement here in athletics and our guys do it. That gives us some flexibility. 

"We can't take everyone back because there will be a roster limitation of 40 people next year. This year, the NCAA allowed unlimited players on the team, rightfully so. They're trying to phase this back to what you're normal 35-man roster is. 

"You start to look at the draft. It's very unpredictable. I told the team last night they'll never figure it out. Some of the guys that are seniors or draft-eligible juniors have that looming.

"The draft is so much later this year - it's in mid-July. Normally the draft would have already come and gone. When you don't know those things until mid-July as opposed to the first week in June, it makes the roster piece that much more complicated. 

"I feel it's going to remain this way. I think the draft will stay at this point. I think they're going to do away with the short season low A-ball type professional teams and have more combines and workouts leading up to the draft. 

"This will be the first time any of us will experience any of that dynamic. It affects your recruits and your current players on the team right now. There's no way to even know the pieces of the puzzle today if you want to look to next year. 

"I will say the recruiting class - I feel like we had a big impact in some of the recruits that were new to our program when I got here that we didn't recruit. I think our style and what we're looking to do with our team will show up with some of the younger guys. 

"We need more left-handed bats. There was a stretch in the Super Regional where they could match up pretty well out of the bullpen and that makes it tricky. 

"We need to prioritize the left-handed hitter at our stadium. The wind pushes to right field early in the spring. There's a couple reasons you want those left-handed bats. 

"We need to continue to get deeper on the mound. It wasn't deep enough. When you lose (Tommy) Sheehan and (Tommy) Vail and you have to absorb that - nobody can handle that sort of blow. But we did. We survived.

"Those guys were sitting in the stands down there. I saw them and you think a little bit about what they would have added to what was obviously a good team." 

On chances of Tommy Sheehan and Tommy Vail returning:
"I don't think with the grad school piece and the health - I don't think it lines up." 

On young guys on the roster:
"Danny Neri at times has shown flashes behind the plate of being really solid. He's a left-handed hitter, which helps. He has to continue to mature and become a little more physical. 

(David) LaManna wore the burden of catching a lot of our games and he was very timely and did a very nice job. He got better all year. But to have another catcher that can rest Dave and give another look being a left-handed bat gives you so many more options. I think Danny has a bright future. 

"Ryan Lynch, the expectations are that he can go out there. He can be  similar to (Houston) Harding that pitched for Mississippi State. He really used the changeup well and that's going to be Ryan's ticket. 

"He needs to throw this summer. We didn't get the full complement of games, so there was some developmental hindrance in just the way the schedule unfolded for us. He's going to be effective. 

"We need Liam (Simon.) Liam is throwing 96, 97, 98 mph. He wasn't effective on Monday. There were glimpses of it being electric, but we have to harness what's in there and we've seen flashes of it. It hasn't quite been consistent enough in the competitive setting to think he is ready to give you innings that we needed on Monday, for example.

"TJ Williams, you saw flashes of it in the regional more than anything else. He can go get it with the best of them. He would line up with anybody that was on the field at Mississippi State or for us defensively. He's a right-handed hitter, but he can really run. He probably our fastest pure guy. There will be a lot of good innings for him coming." 

On grad transfer pitcher commit and the Transfer Portal:
"The grad transfer stuff is starting. I don't think I can comment on who it is, but that's the kind of thing - like a (John Michael) Bertrand or (Joe) Sheridan. Those guys for a one-year Notre Dame master's program, they help. It's an attractive piece. You can't get a better degree in a year than this. 

"Now, you have to be a really good student coming in, but they are. We need to continue to use that avenue as a niche for us in recruiting. It's a difference-maker for us.”

On 2021 signees and MLB Draft process:
"The baseball draft evolves around what amount of money that family decides is worth signing professionally for. Once you make that decision to sign, you can't go to college. You can do it the other way and go to college and then three or four years later have a chance to go play professionally. 

"I feel like guys that come here and perform at this level will get their chance. If you don't perform at this level, to think you're going to elevate through a minor league system is a tough stretch in my mind.

"You try to present the whole picture. The degree from Notre Dame, playing in the ACC and being around other kids like we have on our team, you can't put a price tag on that. 

"At some point financially if the money gets to be - like when I signed Mike Trout and he was coming to East Carolina, Addison Russell was coming to Auburn and David Dahl - sometimes it gets to a point where they can't turn down the financial benefit of signing that contract. 

"It's up to the family and the player. What's the value of this setting and this degree versus what they might be offered. It's not really about the draft as much as what they want to sign for. That sometimes predicates how popular you are in the draft." 

On learning the Notre Dame student-athlete:
"I told them I don't know how I would have handled that and they do it. 

"I did expect that dynamic and that level of student-athlete, but the transition to our baseball system is what caught me most positively by surprise. The way they grasp what we were trying to do. 

"My biggest concern is this too fast and too complicated when I haven't coached with the coaches that are here. You worry is the demand so much that I'm trying to push all new verbiage, signs and how you do everything in the locker room, on the field - I can't go into how much information they had to process. 

"They absolutely did it. There were days last week at practice I said this was the first time I've had a team that anything I wanted to draw up to do, they could do it. There's going to be mistakes. They're humans. Every athlete is going to make mistakes. We made our fair share, but from a technical team component, I had never been around a team that I felt like could really grasp every piece of the system in 50 games and they did. Remarkable kids."

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