College Top 25 Chat: May 10
Aaron Fitt will chat about the Top 25 and
everything college baseball related beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Good afternoon, everyone. Not much movement
in the Top 25 this week, as the favorites largely took care of business
in college baseball this weekend. Let's chat.
Sorry for the delay — just got a phone
call with news that Ole Miss ace Drew Pomeranz is dealing with a mild
strain in his pectoral muscle, which explains why his velocity dropped
into the 87-90 mph range on Friday. Pomeranz felt some soreness after
doing some light weight-lifting before the Mississippi State series a
couple of weeks ago. He is expected to continue throwing this week and
may or may not miss a start this weekend.
Tyler (Orlando): Where does this Florida
freshman class rank among some of the best ones you can remember? They
are absolutely carrying a top-five team in the country right now.
Great question. It's nice when the nation's
No. 1 recruiting class actually lives up to its billing.
(Interestingly, the No. 1 class three years ago—San Diego's—is finally
starting to live up to its potential, too). Florida's class is
obviously extremely special, and I think when it's all said and done,
this class could go down in history as a truly great one. In the last
few years, you'd have to look at the North Carolina class with Ackley,
White, Seager, et al as the gold standard for freshmen. Arizona State's
class last year and LSU's the year before were both very special, but
junior college transfers had a lot to do with the success of both of
those classes. This Florida group, like UNC's a few years ago, is
predominantly composed of freshmen, and like UNC's group, they are
making big impacts immediately. There have been tons of other great
classes over the years and I'm sure I'm omitting some great ones, but
this is not an exhaustive list, just a few that come to mind.
Mike (San Jose, Calif.): Which teams' chances
of hosting a regional were helped — and hurt — the most by this past
We'll discuss this more in tomorrow's Stock
Report, but certainly Arizona's chances were crushed this weekend, and
Oregon's took a big hit as well, as did LSU's. Auburn, meanwhile,
continued to strengthen its position. The other teams falling back could
open the door for UConn to host at Norwich, Conn. That would make a ton
of sense geographically, and right now the Huskies (the Big East
leaders) have earned a shot to host with their play, too.
Jeramey (Atlanta): A huge ACC series happens
this weekend in Atlanta between Miami and Ga. Tech. Miami bieng 9th and
Ga. Tech 11th in the RPI according to WarrenNolan.com which team has
more to lose. Do you think the winner of this series could have the
inside track on a National Seed with it being a meaningful series late
in the year?
If Virginia doesn't win the ACC, the team
that wins it stands a pretty good chance to join the Cavs as a national
seed. This Miami-Georgia Tech series will go a long way toward
determining who wins the league, so it's pretty big. If Virginia wins
the league, I could very much see the ACC producing just one national
seed. But Miami and Tech both look like fairly safe bets to host
regionals, so I'm not sure either has much to lose this weekend, barring
Jake (Dana Point, Cal): Certainly disappointing
to see CSUF sweep a decent Riverside team handily and not advance in
your rankings. Looking ahead to next year for a moment, do Noe Ramirez,
Dylan Floro and Tyler Pill figure to constitute the top weekend
starting trio in college baseball?
Jake, every team in the top 10 except South
Carolina won its weekend series. You really have to look at what the
other teams did — we're not going to jump any team over a bunch of
other teams that took care of business over the weekend. And yes, that
looks like an extremely formidable rotation for next season, and I
imagine it will be right there with UCLA's rotation among the best in
Ben (Leland Grove): Your opinion of Bryce
Harper's JuCo season as a whole? How much do you see him costing the
Mind-bogglingly amazing. I bet it costs
close to Strasburg money.
JH (the woodlands,tx): after a slow start, rick
hague has really played well for the rice owls and is now hitting .330
with 9hr. is he sneaking back into 1st round consideration given the
lack of college bats?
It's good to see him playing better of
late, but no, he's nowhere near the first-round discussion. He has had
an abysmal season defensively, and coming into this season many scouts
were already uncertain if he could stick at shortstop in pro ball. This
spring hasn't helped. I still think he's got a chance to be a pretty
good pro; he's obviously pretty talented, and I could see him as a nice
"cheap five-tool player," with fringe-average to solid-average tools
across the board. But he's likely to be a good value pick in the third
Jeramey (Atlanta): LSU's struggle's continue,
do you see them hosting a regional at this point?
No. Five other SEC teams are very clearly
ahead of LSU in the hosting pecking order, and that's going to be tough
jb (SC): I know alot rides on the next 2 BIG
weekends for the Gamecocks, but do still see them as a national seed? Is
there a chance that Coastal could grab a national seed and not the
Sure, there's a chance of that. I don't see
any team stopping Coastal from demolishing the Big South, not even
Liberty, which is a solid enough team. But South Carolina clearly has
two very difficult series remaining against Arkansas and Florida. We
always knew South Carolina's SEC schedule was backloaded, which is why
it was important to keep the Gamecocks' strong start in perspective.
That doesn't mean South Carolina can't win one or both of those series,
but it could also lose both of them and it wouldn't be a big surprise.
How the 'Cocks finish will determine whether they earn a national seed.
don (st. louis): Who do you see earning the
automatic bid in the MVC? Is illinois state really this good? Where did
Kevin Tokarski and Kenny Long come from. Any chance for them to be all
I still think it's pretty likely to be
Wichita State, but I love what Mark Kingston's Redbirds have done.
Tokarski isn't much of a pro prospect — he's undersized and probably
won't be able to stick as an infielder in pro ball, but he's leading the
nation in hitting, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Long just
came out of nowhere to emerge as an utterly dominant closer. The guy had
a 7.71 ERA last year, and coming into the spring the Redbirds weren't
counting him filling any sort of meaningful role. And now he's got a
1.24 ERA, seven saves and 56 strikeouts in 44 innings. Amazing.
mark maddox (fresno): with fresno state (30-20)
sweeping new mexico st and assuming they win the sac st./san jose st.
series, what would they have to do in WAC tourney to get in?
Fresno needs to win the automatic bid to
get in, because its RPI is in the mid-60s (not at-large territory), and
it's just 1-6 against the RPI top 50. Fresno's last two series are
against San Jose State (No. 221 in the RPI) and Sacramento State (210),
which means there are no opportunities left to move up.
Josh (Mobile, AL): Do you think the Gamecocks'
sudden hitting woes were due to a bad weekend, or should I be worried?
I wouldn't be too concerned. Jackie Bradley
Jr. is actually just now starting to find his stride now that he's got
the broken hamate and the hand laceration issues behind him, and
Christian Walker seems to be on the upswing again. Those are two very
encouraging developments for the offense. The Gamecocks just ran into
some pretty good Kentucky pitching this weekend.
Kyle (Richmond): Jarrett Parker has started to
turn his season around. Is he looking like the Jarrett Parker of 2009,
and is he moving back up draft boards?
I wrote about his impressive power display
last weekend in Three Strikes, and I wasn't the only one who has taken
notice of Parker's better play of late, and the latest buzz has him
going in the supplemental first round.
Drunken Pirate (At a bar): ECU Pirates - done?
It's hard to believe after starting ranked in the Top 20, taking one
game from UVA and two from South Carolina, that my Pirates are headed
home unless they win the conference tournament. Do you think this puts
Coach Billy Godwin on the hot seat?
Done — and no, Billy Godwin is secure.
He's done a great job with that program, and I don't think there's any
way they make a move. I don't usually comment on coaching speculation at
all during the season, until jobs have come open, so to all those
people who keep asking about the same few jobs, I'm sorry to disappoint
you, but I won't be answering those questions.
Brett (Florida): Over/Under...30 HRs for Bryce
Harper if he hit in between Tucker and Maddox at UF?
Matt (Buffalo, NY): Canisius made a statement
this weekend by sweeping Manhattan and only needs one more win to clinch
the regular season crown and number one seed in the MAAC. What are
their chances of stunning someone in the regionals - if they make it
there. Their offense can score - just ask the Jaspers. And they have
some good live arms on the mound. They played a decent schedule.
Yeah, that's a big sweep for Canisius,
which proved it is clearly the team to beat in the MAAC. I wrote about
the Griffs in Weekend Preview this past week, so go back to that if
you're interested. That is a good offensive team, led by Steve McQuail,
that I could see slugging its way to an upset win in a regional, in the
Marc (Tennessee): What does Auburn have to do
the rest of the way to host a Regional, if at all possible?
I like Auburn's chances quite a bit right
now. Top-15 RPI, 15-9 in the SEC, winnable home series against Tennessee
coming up this weekend. Going 3-3 in the final two weekends (vs. Tenn
and @ Ole Miss) would give Auburn an 18-12 finish in the league, and I
think that would be enough to host. And I see that happening.
jimmy (miami, fl): Are any sunbelt teams on the
cusp of the top 25? FAU has been very strong down the stretch and has
an RPI of 33 and the conference continues to have the 5th best RPI in
the nation. Any chance FAU can make the top 25 before season's end?
Also, if they make it, will FAU be in the Hurricanes' regional?
We looked at both FAU and
Louisiana-Lafayette today, but both came up just short. In FAU's case,
it probably would have gotten in if not for the UCF loss midweek, which
gave the Owls just a 2-2 week. And Coral Gables seems a pretty likely
destination for FAU, assuming it continues to play well and finds itself
Steven (Portland): The Oregon Ducks dropped a
tough series this weekend getting swept by rival Oregon State. They lost
all three games by one run in dramatic fashion. The Oregon pitching
staff has been one of the best in the country so far, which
draft-eligible guys do you see going off the board early from their
That was a great series — I watched the
webcasts of the first two games, and both had very exciting finishes.
Justin LaTempa will be the first Duck off the board thanks to his power
stuff, but his checkered medical history hurts his stock a bit, and he
projects to be drafted somewhere around the seventh round. Drew Gagnier
and Zack Thornton figure to be drafted around the back of the top 10
rounds. The good news for Oregon fans is that a talented nucleus will be
back next year, including Tyler Anderson, Scott McGough and Christian
Eliezer (Long Island, NY): Hey Aaron, three
weeks ago I asked where is the love for Liberty Flames (37-12)? Now
after winning 12 of their last 13 games I ask the same thing. Liberty
will now face a quality team in Coastal Carolina which I am sure will
get some publicity. How many games does Liberty have to win against the
Chanticleers to pop into the top 25?
Our debate at the back of the rankings
today eventually came down to Stanford vs. Liberty, and we went with the
team that was 10-5 vs. the Top 25 over the team that was 0-0. Liberty
has been very consistent this year, it just hasn't proven itself against
really good competition. This weekend offers a chance to do just that.
As far as the rankings go, it's pretty simple: win that series against
Coastal, and Liberty will be in the Top 25.
Andrew (Corvallis): After a big sweep of the
Oregon Ducks, where do the Beavers stand as far as getting into the
tournament? Do they have a chance with their weak conference record?
I'll have a more detailed and concrete
answer to this question in tomorrow's Stock Report, but the short answer
is yes, the Beavers still have a chance thanks to that huge sweep. OSU
is No. 29 in the RPI, which means it is very much in at-large position
if it can win two of its final three series or so, thus building
positive momentum down the stretch. The committee is willing to overlook
mid-season slumps more easily than late-season slumps.
Thomas (California): #25 Stanford is 10-5 vs
the top 25. You have to scroll all the way up to the number 5 team
Florida State to find another record similar to that against the top 25.
Does this play at all into the rankings or post season seeding?
That number is really the only reason at
all Stanford is ranked right now, because that team has been maddeningly
inconsistent this season. But yes, records against quality opponents do
play a big role in our top 25 deliberations, and the committee looks at
those sorts of figures as well when filling out the field.
Steve (Ledyard, Conn.): UConn is crushing
Boston College today. It is 10-2 in the 6th inning right now. What do
you think about the Huskies chances of hosting a regional?
I'm liking them better and better.
Mike (Queens, NY): I know St. John's is 84 in
the RPI, but they are 32-14 and really playing great ball. Rutgers is
considerably higher then them in the RPI though. If the Big East were to
get a 4th team who do you think would get it? And how do you think St.
John's will do this weekend against Louisville? Any chance the Johnnies
take 2 of 3 in your opnion?
I don't think the Big East will get a
fourth team. And I do think the Johnnies have a chance in that series —
I kind of like their team, some good veterans on the mound (Kern, Cole,
etc.) and in the lineup (Parque, Karmas, Hopkins, etc.). But they won't
be able to overcome that RPI when it comes to competing for an at-large
spot. I suppose they could win the conference tournament, and then just
maybe the Big East has a shot at four bids, because Louisville and
UConn are locks, and Pitt is really in good shape too.
RSN (Georgia): How many bids to you see the
SOCON getting at the end of the year? Right now it looks like the only
way the SOCON gets 3 bids is if someone other than CofC or Citadel wins
tourney. And after losing 2 of 3 to CofC, Citadel is probably not a
safe bet right now. Elon swept App St to get back in picture and move
to 4th and ruin App St's atlarge hopes you would think. Georgia
Southern is still comfortably in 3rd place and still has Citadel series
to end year. WCU finally got to .500 in conference and has chance to
get over that with win today over Furman. But is it too late with how
far their RPI has fallen?? THANKS
Don't write off Elon. The Phoenix climbed
into the top 50 in the RPI with that sweep of Appalachian State, and
Boyd's World says they just need to go 3-1 down the stretch against ECU
and Samford to finish with a top 45 RPI, which would put them in pretty
good shape for an at-large bid, I think. Georgia Southern has a similar
RPI, but I don't like its chances as much because of a 2-10 record
against the top 50. Western Carolina, I think, has to basically win out.
JB (San Francisco): Aaron- TCU is the only
team in the country that has yet to lose a weekend series this season.
With the weekend rotation of Purke, Winkler, and Maxwell, they will be
an incredibly tough out in the postseason double elimination format.
The general consensus of the polls is that they are a top 8 team, yet
the tourney projections all seem to indicate that RPI will prevent them
from getting a national seed. If you are on the committee, do you argue
in favor of the Frogs due to the non-RPI factors or are you arguing
against them due to RPI? What do you think will actually happen?
I argue for them. And if they couple their
impending MWC regular-season title with a MWC tournament title, I think
they stand a realistic chance at getting a national seed. There is no
question, for me, that is a top-eight-caliber team.
Jonathan (Austin): Resumes aside, who would you
take in a weekend series — Coastal or USC?
I think I'd take Coastal, actually, but
it's very close. I just think very few teams in the nation are as
complete as the Chanticleers.
OK everybody, that's it for today. Thanks
for stopping by, as always!