The Texas Longhorns have one of the most accomplished college baseball programs in the country with six national championships and a half-dozen runner-up finishes. There have obviously been some incredible teams in Texas’ past but just imagine the nine-player lineup the Longhorns could assemble across their all-time roster. We did just that, scanning through the school’s record book and picking out a player for each position to craft Texas’ all-time starting nine.

Based on players’ college stats and accomplishments — Note: Players’ professional careers or lack thereof were not considered, just their college careers — along with consideration given to their positional fits as well as a batting order that could provide a combination of a high batting average, speed and power, here is Texas baseball’s all-time starting lineup.

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1. Left field – Calvin Murray (1990-92)

Murray left Austin, Tex., as the program’s career leader in steals with 139. Remarkably, he holds Texas’ best (49), second-best (47), and third-best (43) single-season steals totals. So if the Longhorns want a speed component to their all-time lineup — which they probably should — Murray is the best choice. But he wasn’t a one-trick pony at Texas.

Murray hit a team-best .351 in 1992, drew 127 career walks (ninth-best career total in Texas history), recorded 14 triples in college and scored 197 runs in his career. Few players were better at getting on base, stealing bags and ultimately scoring, making Murray a valuable offensive addition to Texas’ all-time starting nine and a key hitter at the top of the batting order.

2. Second base – Bill Bates (1983-85)

Tim Moss (2001-03) and David Tollison (1998-90) both had strong cases to occupy second base but we went with Bill Bates, whose name appears in the Texas baseball record book 32 times. He set the record for most triples in a career (20) and most runs in a season (100). As a freshman, Bates made the All-Tournament Team in the College World Series as the Longhorns won the national championship.

Bates is second in career runs scored with 238, tied for fourth in steals with 86, and eighth in doubles with 54. He’s fifth all-time in total bases in a season (175), tied for sixth in walks (69), and eighth in stolen bases (36).

Defensively, his 237 assists in 1984 are the third-most in a season in Texas history.

From his ability to provide extra-base hits, patient at-bats, speed on the base paths and a solid glove, Bates was a five-tool player.

3. Center field – Drew Stubbs (2004-06)

This was a tough call between Stubbs and Mark Payton (2011-14). Payton is one of the most prominent figures in Texas baseball history, starting in all of his 234 career games (second-most all-time), hitting 19 triples, drawing 148 walks and hitting a ridiculous, team-high .393 in 2013. He ranks ahead of Stubbs in several statistical categories. However, Stubbs provides a unique speed and power component in center field, plus he was a member of Texas’ 2005 national championship team.

Despite holding three of Texas’ top nine spots in terms of most strikeouts for a batter in a single season, Stubbs recorded 92 extra-base hits, slugged .525 in his career, hit 31 career home runs (sixth all-time), scored 183 runs and once had a 19-game hitting streak. Even with his power streak, Stubbs was capable of advancing the runner with sacrifice bunts, making him dangerous in the batting order behind Murray and Bates, and he was a proven base-stealer himself, swiping 86 bags in his career.

4. Right field – Kyle Russell (2006-08)

Russell holds Texas’ single-season program record for home runs — 28 in 2007 — which is eight more than the second-best power-hitting season in Longhorns history. He also has the school’s third-best mark of 19, which he hit the following season, showing his power was not a fluke. Russell finished his college career in Austin with 57 dingers which, you guessed it, is also a Texas record.

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