Midseason College Grades

Here’s a look at how the teams in Baseball America’s preseason Top 25 have fared in the first half of the season.

MID-TERM REPORT CARDS
Pre. Team Current Rank Mid-term Grade
1. Texas 6 A-
Aside from opening-weekend hiccup against New Mexico, all is well for the ‘Horns, who must still be considered a favorite for the national title.
2. Virginia 4 A
Cavs spent six straight weeks at No. 1 before dropping a series at N.C. State. Series wins at Florida State and against Clemson prove they are elite.
3. Louisiana State 5 A-
LSU kept on winning while ace Anthony Ranaudo worked his way back from injury. With him back atop the rotation, the Tigers’ title hopes are intact.
4. Cal State Fullerton NR C
Fullerton limped to a shocking 7-9 start but has rebounded to 16-11. The offense has come around; now Jr. RHP Daniel Renken must return to form.
5. Rice NR D
The Owls are 1-5 in two West Coast trips, and they have been largely disappointing in Texas, too. Jr. SS Rick Hague must overcome bout of draftitis, and pitching must stabilize.
6. Georgia Tech 2 A
Tech has demolished a largely unimposing schedule. With the nation’s most powerful offense and an elite ace in Deck McGuire, the Jackets haven’t missed injured closer Kevin Jacob.
7. Florida 8 B
As expected, the young Gators have had their ups and downs, but freshmen 3B Austin Maddox and LHP Brian Johnson have excelled. Wait until vets Preston Tucker and Josh Adams get going.
8. UC Irvine 18 C
Irvine has not been consistently dominant the way it was for virtually the entire 2009 season, but this experienced group is built for June.
9. Florida State 7 B
The Seminoles started hot but have struggled against teams from the Old Dominion State, losing home series to Virginia and Virginia Tech. FSU’s offense has cooled down, but that won’t last.
10. South Carolina 11 B
The Gamecocks have recovered from losing early series to East Carolina and Clemson by winning three straight SEC series. Pitching has been a strength, but the offense is less explosive than usual.
11. Texas Christian 12 B
TCU’s regional hosting ambitions have taken hits in recent weeks with losses to Air Force, San Diego State and Oklahoma, but the Horned Frogs are deep and balanced.
12. Coastal Carolina 13 A-
Aside from a home series loss to San Diego, Coastal has been very consistent. The offense has not yet caught up to CCU’s strong pitching, but when it does, the Chanticleers could be Omaha-bound.
13. Louisville 9 A
Injuries have not derailed the Cardinals, who have won every weekend series, including a crucial set at Ole Miss. One of the nation’s most complete teams, Louisville is on track for a national seed.
14. Arizona State 1 A+
No Pat Murphy, no Jason Kipnis, no Mike Leake, no Josh Spence? No problem. ASU’s 27-1 start is nothing short of remarkable. The Sun Devils are confident, deep and balanced.
15. Clemson 16 B
The Tigers are still trying to solidify their bullpen, but the much-improved Kyle Parker leads a strong offense. Clemson leads FSU by two games in the ACC’s Atlantic Division and is on track to host a regional.
16. Miami 14 B
The Hurricanes are 10-2 in ACC play, but the conference schedule gets much tougher in the second half. Athleticism, speed and solid pitching are hallmarks of this bunch.
17. Arkansas 10 A-
The Hogs have passed every test and nearly won a series at LSU. Zack Cox must continue his strong start to pick up the offense until Andy Wilkins gets back from injury.
18. East Carolina NR D
The Pirates started out well enough, with a 3-3 record against UVa. and South Carolina, but a horrid West Coast swing and a series loss to Tulane were compounded by the dismissal of Jr. SS Dustin Harrington, one of five player suspensions/dismissals.
19. San Diego NR C
The Toreros are just 14-14 against a tough schedule, but series wins against Rice and Coastal Carolina in their last two weekend series give hope for the second half.
20. North Carolina NR D
A pedestrian offense and a beleaguered bullpen caused the Tar Heels to drop their first three ACC series. This weekend’s set against rival N.C. State is critical, with trips to Miami and Clemson looming.
21. Southern Mississippi NR D
Series losses to Le Moyne and Alabama-Birmingham and a 3-6 record over their last nine games have put the Golden Eagles in a hole.
22. Georgia NR F
The season is spiraling out of control for the nation’s most disappointing team. Georgia’s talented pitching staff has no excuse for its 8.62 ERA.
23. UCLA 3 A+
A school-record 22-0 start has been keyed by one of the nation’s very best pitching staffs and a much-improved offense under the direction of second-year assistant Rick Vanderhook.
24. Mississippi 15 B
Ole Miss has quality series wins against Kentucky, Florida and Tulane, making up for home series losses to Louisville and Tennessee. One question: Who will start on Sundays? Maybe hard-throwing RHP David Goforth is the answer.
25. Oregon State 17 B
Junior pitchers Greg Peavey and Tanner Robles have turned the corner after two disappointing seasons, and the Beavers have loads of pitching talent behind them.
NR Oklahoma 19 B
A large recruiting class has filled many of the holes left by departures from last year’s regional-hosting team, but a home sweep at the hands of Texas gave Oklahoma a reality check.
NR Vanderbilt 20 B
Few teams can match Vandy’s talent on the mound, but consistency is still a work in progress. The lineup is close to full strength again following key injuries, making this team dangerous down the stretch.
NR Western Kentucky 21 A-
The Hilltoppers lost loads of offense from last year’s regional finals team, but they have avoided a rebuilding year thanks to a veteran pitching staff and an offense that relies more on speed than power.
NR Stanford 22 C
Sweeping Rice at home was a fine way to start the season, but the Cardinal has slumped to 13-12 since then. Someone besides Jordan Pries needs to emerge as a reliable weekend starter.
NR Texas A&M 23 B
Finally healthy, Jr. RHP Barret Loux has emerged as an overpowering ace, and fellow flame-thrower John Stilson anchors a stellar bullpen. The Aggies look like favorites to finish second in the Big 12 behind Texas.
NR Alabama 24 C
After a hot start, the Crimson Tide has lost eight of its last 12 games, but at least it won a series against rival Auburn. Perhaps the nation’s best infield should guide the Tide in the second half.
NR Virginia Tech 25 B
The talented, experienced, deep Hokies entered the season with their eyes on a regional bid for the first time in a decade, and after winning a series at Florida State, that goal looks within reach.

College | #2010 #On Campus

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