2013 ACC Preview

See also: Our Top 25 Scouting Reports has full reports on N.C. State, Florida State, North Carolina and Georgia Tech

ATLANTIC Conference Overall
Team W L W L
North Carolina State (8) 19 11 43 20
Florida State (20) 24 6 50 17
Clemson 16 14 35 28
Maryland 10 20 32 24
Wake Forest 13 17 33 24
Boston College 10 20 21 34
COASTAL Conference Overall
Team W L W L
North Carolina (1) 22 8 46 16
Georgia Tech (16) 12 18 38 26
Miami 16 14 36 23
Virginia 18 12 40 18
Virginia Tech 11 19 34 21
Duke 9 21 21 34
Teams in bold were 2012 NCAA tournament participants. Teams are listed in order of projected 2013 finish, with 2012 records listed
Projected NCAA Teams (8): North Carolina, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech.
Conference Schedule: 30 games, begins March 8.
Conference Tournament: Eight teams, May 22-26 at Durham, N.C.
Player of the Year: Colin Moran, 3b, North Carolina.
Pitcher of the Year: Carlos Rodon, lhp, N.C. State.
1. Colin Moran, 3b, North Carolina
2. Kent Emanuel, lhp, North Carolina
3. Chad Pinder, 3b, Virginia Tech
4. Daniel Palka, 1b/of, Georgia Tech
5. Tyler Horan, of, Virginia Tech
6. Brandon Thomas, of, Georgia Tech
7. Buck Farmer, rhp, Georgia Tech
8. Dale Carey, of, Miami
9. Kevin Jordan, of, Wake Forest
10. Steve Wilkerson, 2b, Clemson
11. Hobbs Johnson, lhp, North Carolina
12. Justin Gonzalez, ss, Florida State
13. Zane Evans, c/rhp, Georgia Tech
14. Eric Whaley, rhp, Miami
15. Scott Firth, rhp, Clemson
1. Carlos Rodon, lhp, N.C. State
2. Trea Turner, ss, N.C. State
3. Derek Fisher, of, Virginia
4. Brett Austin, c, N.C. State
5. Benton Moss, rhp, North Carolina
6. Daniel Gossett, rhp, Clemson
7. Logan Jernigan, rhp, North Carolina State
8. K.J. Hockaday, 3b, Maryland
9. Brandon Leibrandt, lhp, Florida State
10. Jake Fincher, of, N.C. State
1. Nathan Kirby, lhp, Virginia (HS—Midlothian, Va.)
2. Jameis Winston, of, Florida State (HS—Hueytown, Ala.)
3. Brandon Lopez, ss, Miami (HS—Plantation, Fla.)
4. Clate Schmidt, rhp, Clemson (HS—Acworth, Ga.)
5. James Marvel, rhp, Duke (HS—Moraga, Calif.)
6. Skye Bolt, of, North Carolina (HS—Atlanta)
7. Steven Duggar, of, Clemson (HS—Duncan, S.C.)
8. Matthew Crownover, lhp, Clemson (HS—Ringgold, Ga.)
9. D.J. Stewart, of, Florida State (HS—Jacksonville, Fla.)
10. Grant Heyman, of, Miami (HS—Pittsbord, N.Y.)
Best Pure Hitter—Colin Moran, North Carolina. Best Raw Power—Tyler Horan, Virginia Tech. Best Strike-Zone Judgment—Stephen McGee, Florida State. Best Athlete—Trea Turner, N.C. State. Fastest Runner—Turner. Best Baserunner—Turner.

Best Defensive C—Zane Evans, Georgia Tech. Catcher/Best Arm—Evans. Best Defensive 1B—Jon McGibbon, Clemson. Best Defensive 2B—Steve Wilkerson, Clemson. Best Defensive 3B—Chad Pinder, Virginia Tech. Best Defensive SS—Justin Gonzalez, Florida State. Infielder/Best Arm—Gonzalez. Best Defensive OF—Thomas Brittle, Clemson. Outfielder/Best Arm—Tom Bourdon, Boston College.

Best Fastball—Carlos Rodon, N.C. State. Best Breaking Ball—Rodon. Best Changeup—Brandon Leibrandt, Florida State. Best Control—Kent Emanuel, North Carolina.




• In 2002, Clemson had Jack Leggett as head coach with Tim Corbin and Kevin O’Sullivan as assistants. The Tigers won 54 games and were 2-0 in the College World Series before losing twice to South Carolina, which wound up as the College World Series runner-up. The Gamecocks have an advantage in the head-to-head series since then of 27-20 and have become a dynasty, narrowly missing three straight CWS championships, and have built $30 million Carolina Stadium as well. Corbin (Vanderbilt) and O’Sullivan (Florida) went on to become giants in their own right as head coaches in the SEC, while Clemson saw its regionals streak end in 2008. The Tigers remain a strong program, with a CWS trip in 2010, but they face a rebuilding task in 2013, with at least a half-dozen newcomers being thrown into prominent roles. Key among them are three freshmen from Georgia: SS Tyler Krieger, a wiry, above-average runner; LHP Matthew Crownover, who has recovered quickly from Tommy John surgery as a prep senior; and wiry RHP Clate Schmidt, the highest-rated of the three coming out of high school. Schmidt was slated for a midweek starter role entering the season.

Virginia is going through a similar transition, with a team heavily reliant on freshmen and sophomores. Still, the Cavaliers will rely heavily on the right side of their infield with Srs. 1B Jared King and 2B Reed Gragnani. Often injured throughout his career, Gragnani was limited to 20 games in 2012 and finally has a full-time infield spot lined up after spending most of his career in the outfield. King provides patience (team-high 51 BB), speed (team-high 13 SB) and gap power. The fifth-year senior, who missed the 2010 season with a shoulder injury, slumped in ACC play, hitting just .196.

Virginia Tech has only made one regional appearance as a member of the conference, in 2010, but a failure to reach the postseason this year would be a big disappointment. The Hokies return the league’s most potent offense with a nice balance of right- and lefthanded hitters, power and speed. Just Florida State and Georgia Tech hit more homers than the Hokies among ACC teams last year, and most of Virginia Tech’s power is back. Bullish Jr. LF Tyler Horan is a college Greg Luzinski with brute power and a home run track record (15 last season, record-tying 16 in the Cape Cod League). Jr. 3B Chad Pinder and Sr. CF Andrew Rash hit seven homers apiece last year, while So. C Mark Zagunis hit .344 with five homers while providing a team-best 17 stolen bases. They’ll need to improve on the league’s ninth-best team ERA (4.16), looking for help from JC transfer Jr. Brad Markey out of Santa Fe (Fla.) JC. He started his career at Georgia Tech but transferred after pitching  just five innings. Last year’s wins leader, 5-foot-9 Sr. RHP Tanner McIntyre (7-0, 2.32), slides into the rotation after working last year in middle relief.

Maryland and Duke break in new head coaches. The Terrapins nearly doubled their win total (from 17 to 32) in three seasons under Erik Bakich, who left to take over at Michigan. John Szefc, most recently an assistant at Louisiana-Lafayette, Kansas State and Kansas, takes over with a successful head-coaching resume, having won 61 percent of his games in seven seasons at Marist from 1996-2002, with three straight regional trips to end his stint. He takes over a relatively deep roster that needs closer LHP Jimmy Reed (1-3, 2.70, 8 SV) to shine in the Friday starter role. He made six starts last season.

Duke had four straight winning seasons under Sean McNally before slipping back under .500 the last two seasons. McNally was relieved after the season in favor of Chris Pollard, who led Appalachian State to its first regional trip since 1986. Pollard has a strong pitching background and will try to unlock the potential of 6-foot-4, 200-pound Jr. RHP Drew Van Orden, whose fastball reaches the low 90s. So. RHP/OF Andrew Istler (4-4, 3.63, 3 SV; .292/.364/.358), coming off a strong summer in the Coastal Plain League, returns with his quick arm to the closer role.

• Conference realignment has hit the ACC hard. The league is adding Louisville, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh over the coming years while losing Maryland to the Big Ten. (Syracuse also is joining the league but has no plans to add a baseball program.)