2017 Conference Previews: Atlantic Coast Conference

2017 College Preview

Dylan Busby (Photo by Cliff Welch)

SEE ALSO: College Preview Index

Atlantic Coast

Baseball Members (First Year): Atlantic Division—Boston College (2006), Clemson (1954), FSU (1992), Louisville (2015), NCSU (1954), Notre Dame (2014). Coastal Division—(Duke (1954), Georgia Tech (1980), Miami (2005), UNC (1954), Pittsburgh (2014), Virginia (195), Virginia Tech (1954).
Checking out: None.

Team to Beat: Florida State

The Seminoles bring back almost every player from last year’s super regional squad—including the entire rotation.

Best Tools
Best Pure Hitter: Brendan McKay, Louisville
Best Raw Power: Seth Beer, Clemson
Best Strike-Zone Judgment: Seth Beer, Clemson
Best Athlete: Carl Chester, Miami
Fastest Baserunner: Carl Chester, Miami
Best Baserunner: Brian Miller, North Carolina
Best Defensive Catcher: Cal Raleigh, Florida State
Best Defensive 1B: Pavin Smith, Virginia
Best Defensive 2B: Ernie Clement, Virginia
Best Defensive 3B: Evan Mendoza, North Carolina State
Best Defensive SS: Devin Hairston, Louisville
Infield/Best Arm: Devin Hairston, Louisville
Best Defensive Outfielder: Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest
Best Outfield Arm: Donovan Casey, Boston College
Best Fastball: J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina
Best Breaking Ball: J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina
Best Changeup: Brian Brown, North Carolina State
Best Control: Brendan McKay, Louisville

Player of the Year: Brendan McKay 1b/lhp, Louisville

McKay has been the top two-way player in the game for two seasons now. Scouts are divided on whether he’s a pitcher or a hitter at the next level.

Pitcher of the Year J.B. Bukauskas rhp, North Carolina

An electric junior righthander with a mid-90s fastball and a devastating slider, Bukauskas should be one of the first pitchers off the board come June.

Freshman of the Year: Drew Mendoza 1b/3b, Florida State

The highest-ranked position player in the BA 500 to make it to campus, Mendoza will start right away and should make an offensive impact.

Top 25 Teams: Florida State (2), Louisville (7), Clemson (10), North Carolina State (14), Virginia (16), North Carolina (17), Georgia Tech (21)

Other Projected Regional Teams

Miami: The Hurricanes are coming off back-to-back Omaha trips; however, many of the key pieces from those teams have moved on. Miami will have to find a way to replace C Zack Collins, SS Brandon Lopez, RHP Bryan Garcia, OF Willie Abreu and more. With that said, Miami has been to 44 straight regionals and has never missed the tournament under head coach Jim Morris. The Hurricanes should have enough depth to continue that streak. Returners such as OF Carl Chester and LHP Michael Mediavilla will need to lead the charge.

Wake Forest: Last season, the Demon Deacons earned a regional bid for the first time since 2007. Though they’ll no longer be able to employ the services of 3B/RHP Will Criag, Wake Forest should remain an offensive ballclub thanks to the return of veterans like OF Stuart Fairchild and 1B Gavin Sheets. The Deacons should also be deeper on the mound, as they’ll bring back their entire rotation, led, by RHP Parker Dunshee, and add a couple of promising freshmen to the mix.

Notable Storylines: Thanks to the heroics of RHP Justin Dunn and RHP Mike King, Boston College made its first super regional appearance in 2016, surprising many. While the Eagles will no longer have Dunn or King on the mound, they should remain competitive behind veteran leaders in SS Johnny Adams and OF/RHP Donovan Casey and a capable Friday starter in RHP Jacob Stevens . . . The same holds true for Duke, which is coming off its first regional since 1961. The Blue Devils return most of their starting lineup but will be young on the mound. How well they perform could depend on the development of talented Fr. lefthanders Adam Laskey and Graeme Stinson.

2017 Top 20 Prospects  2018 Top 10 Prospects Top Freshmen
1. J.B. Bukauskas rhp, North Carolina 1. Seth Beer 1b/of, Clemson 1. Drew Mendoza, 1b/3b, Florida State
2. Brendan McKay lhp/1b, Louisville 2. Jonathan Hughes rhp, Georgia Tech 2. Adam Laskey, lhp, Duke
3. Pavin Smith of/1b, Virginia 3. Cole Sands rhp, Florida State 3. Logan Davidson, ss, Clemson
4. Taylor Walls ss, Florida State 4. Joey Bart c, Georgia Tech 4. Tyler Baum, rhp, North Carolina
5. Dylan Busby 3b/1b, Florida State 5. Cal Raleigh c, Florida State 5. Brad Debo, c, North Carolina State
6. Joe Dunand ss/3b, North Carolina State 6. Tristin English rhp/1b, Georgia Tech 6. Austin Bergner, rhp, North Carolina
7. Carl Chester of, Miami 7. Evan Sperling rhp, Virginia 7. Luca Dalatri, rhp/1b, North Carolina
8. Kade McClure rhp, Louisville 8. Bryan Hoeing rhp, Louisville 8. J.C. Flowers, of/rhp, Florida State
9. Devin Hairston ss, Louisville 9. Jackson Lueck of, Florida State 9. Mike Amditis, c, Miami
10. Brock Deatherage of, North Carolina State 10. Matt Vierling of/rhp, Notre Dame 10. Tyler Fitzgerald, ss, Louisville
11. Logan Warmoth ss, North Carolina
12. Ernie Clement 2b/of, Virginia
13. Adam Haseley of, Virginia
14. Tommy Doyle rhp, Virginia
15. Brian Miller of, North Carolina
16. Stuart Fairchild of, Wake Forest
17. Charlie Barnes lhp, Clemson
18. Evan Mendoza 3b, North Carolina State
19. Brandon Bielak rhp, Notre Dame
20. Riley Thompson rhp, Louisville

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