Target: Omaha

Preseason All-America shortstop Anthony Silva is primed to help take this year’s team all the way to the championship.

TCU was one of the last four teams standing last season. "It definitely left a sour taste in our mouths," shortstop Anthony Silva said. "We were four wins away from winning the whole thing. I think it’s good that I got a taste of what it felt like in Omaha last year, and that makes every returner even hungrier this year." Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Ellman Photography

Target: Omaha

Preseason All-America shortstop Anthony Silva is primed to help take this year’s team all the way to the championship.

The TCU baseball team returned to the College World Series last season, its first trip to Omaha, Nebraska, since 2017. The Frogs did so with seven players who would be selected in the MLB draft, including first-round pick Brayden Taylor, but they also had four talented first-years who contributed throughout the season.

Among them was shortstop Anthony Silva. A top 200 draft prospect at San Antonio’s Clark High School, Silva removed his name from the draft and developed into a freshman All-American who started all 61 games and batted .330.

He is back for the 2024 season and another run at the College World Series with a roster that has been replenished through the transfer portal and by incoming first-years. 

What did you think of your first season? I loved it from Day 1. First of all, in the summer it was awesome because all the freshmen were here, for the most part, except for the month of July, and we all got very close. The chemistry was awesome, through the roof. Then once everyone got on campus, all the older guys took all of us under their wing. They treated everyone like family, no matter what, who you were, if you got drafted out of high school or not, how old you were, what grade you’re in. It didn’t matter. Everyone treats everyone with respect. 

Individually, are you happy with how you played? I would say I’m happy but not satisfied because, obviously, there’s room for improvement. There’s a bunch of stuff that we as a team didn’t get done. I’m looking this year to try and be more of a leader to the team, especially with coming back with some more experience and with a bunch of new faces. I think something I really want to focus on this year is just being the best leader I could be. 

Are you a rah-rah leader or do you lead by example? I would say I’m a little of both, but more of a rah-rah leader. Just like as a coach, if you think someone can do better and they’re not trying, you let them know. And I try to encourage people, bring them to the field whenever I can come here and get my extra work in on the weekends. I’ll text our group chat, “I’ll be at the field. Let’s get that work. Let’s get another opportunity to get better.” I just want this team to reach its full potential and not have anybody having any regrets and thinking, “Oh, I should have got extra work on the weekends. If I got extra work, we probably would have won.” I don’t want any of that at the end of the season, especially if we want to accomplish our goal. 

What was it like going to the College World Series? It was unbelievable, especially how fast we turned the season around. We weren’t doing good, obviously, and at one point we weren’t sure if we were going to even make a regional. We went from that to just turning it on. I think it was awesome because we, as a team, really came together. I said last year it’s good that we hit rock bottom because the only way we could go is up. And that’s exactly what we did. We stuck together as a team, and then everything else followed. Everyone started playing how they’re supposed to. Everyone was in a good mood all the time, no matter what was going on. If practices went long or if we had a hard game, everyone was even-keeled. 

When the run was over, were you disappointed, hungry for next season or a mixture of both? It definitely left a sour taste in our mouths. We were four wins away from winning the whole thing. I think it’s good that I got a taste of what it felt like in Omaha last year, and that makes every returner even hungrier this year. We were so close, but at the same time we were far from it. 

How have all the transfers and first-years fit in with the program? Everyone’s awesome. We definitely recruited the right guys out of the portal and out of high school. I enjoy talking to every single person — pitchers, position players and even the new coaches. I think everyone’s clicking very well. The new guys definitely bought in already to our culture and what our style of play is, so I think that’s a really good sign. This is definitely a very, very hardworking team, too. A lot of the guys are here before and after practice getting extra work in. We might not be the most talented team in the country, but I think we’ll definitely be one of, if not the, hardest working team in the country. I think that means a lot because talent can only take you so far. If you’ve not bought into the culture, if the chemistry is not right, if you’re not a hard-working team, then everything will just fall apart.  

Did you play last summer? Yes, I played. I went to Team USA tryouts. I played in the California Collegiate League for the Santa Barbara Foresters for a couple of weeks. I took about a month off from playing actual games and was home with my family. I think it’s always good to have a little bit of a break, especially when we had a long season like we did and then going straight from there to play against and with the best guys in the country.  

Why did you pull out of the MLB draft after your senior year of high school? I pulled my name out probably about a week before. I was here. I had already kind of made up my mind that I wasn’t going to go to the draft. I felt like the value of college was way too high for me to pass up on it, and the development and the coaches we have here, I think the value of that is something I can’t even put a number on. I know I made the right decision because last year was just amazing how well I was developed and all the coaching advice that I was given. I knew that when I did it, I wouldn’t regret it at all. 

Also, especially being here with all the guys … it probably would have broken my heart if I would have stayed in the draft. It would have been bittersweet because I would have been going to play somewhere else but also leaving the guys that I had just got so close with. 

You have athletic siblings, and your younger brother is committed to TCU. Have you ever played with him? My brother is a catcher and a switch hitter. He’ll be here next year. In high school, I played with him for two years, my junior and senior years. Actually, I was very fortunate because I have an older brother as well who doesn’t play baseball anymore, and I played with him my freshman and sophomore years. So, I got to play with a brother in high school all four years. I think that was awesome, just to have that person I can count on. Both of them were always there to help me out, and same way the other way around.  

Where do you guys get it from, your mom or your dad? If you ask my parents, my mom will say it’s all her. Neither of my parents played college sports. My mom was like on the pep squad in high school, or something like that. My dad played baseball in high school, but nothing past that. But my uncle, Mark, he played here. 

TCU was an easy sell? I would say I’ve been familiar with TCU growing up just because of that. Then, I started getting recruited by other schools, and TCU hadn’t reached out yet. When they reached out, I was very invested in what they had to say. Once I learned more about TCU, it was a no brainer, especially the way that coaches treated me over the phone. 

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