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2021 College Baseball Top 150

2021Collegetop150

At Baseball America, our lists almost always reflect prospect status. We stack players up based on how they rate on MLB draft boards or on future professional potential.

This list, the Top 150 College Players, however, is different.

Our intent with this list is to rank the most valuable players in the country, period. All classes, all positions, all conferences. Just the 150 most valuable players in the country. We based it on production, countless conversations with coaches around the country and our expectations for the 2021 season. Because it informs how we think about players, prospect status can never be completely removed, but it wasn’t front of mind while putting this list together.

This is intended to be a forward-looking list, not a career-achievement award. There are freshmen and junior college transfers on the list. Frankly, they were hard to rank. But we know freshmen and junior college transfers will be among the most valuable players in college baseball this season. In some ways, it is best to think of it as a watch list for Baseball America’s Player of the Year award.

150 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 2/16/2021
  1. 1

    Kumar Rocker

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    The 2019 Freshman of the Year and College World Series Most Outstanding Player has been outstanding for Vanderbilt. He is 14-6, 3.06 with 142 strikeouts and 29 walks in 114.2 innings for his career.

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  2. 2
    Notes:

    Del Castillo has been one of the best hitters in the country over the last two years. He’s hit .336/.430/.571 with 14 home runs in 77 games and is making strides behind the plate as a defender.

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  3. 3

    Alex Binelas

    Louisville 3B
    Notes:

    Binelas last year suffered a broken hamate on Opening Weekend, knocking him out for the rest of the abbreviated season. But after hitting .291/.383/.612 with 14 home runs in 2019, there’s no doubting his ability.

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  4. 4
    Notes:

    Drafted 25th overall in 2018, McLain opted to instead play for UCLA and now projects to better that draft standing in 2021. After a slow start to his career, McLain hit .397/.422/.621 with three home runs in 58 at-bats in 2020.

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  5. 5

    Jud Fabian

    Florida OF
    Notes:

    Ever since graduating high school a semester early to enroll at Florida in January 2019, he’s been the Gators’ everyday center fielder. He hit .294/.407/.603 with five home runs in 2020.

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  6. 6

    Jaden Hill

    Louisiana State RHP
    Notes:

    Hill was the top-ranked player in LSU’s top-ranked 2018 recruiting class. Injuries limited him in 2019 and the Tigers were cautious with him in 2020, starting him in the bullpen. But the reins will be loosened in 2021 and he has the upside to be the best pitcher in the country.

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  7. 7

    Hunter Barco

    Florida LHP
    Notes:

    Barco was one of the top prep players in the 2019 class to make it to campus. He quickly showed what the hype was about, going 2-0, 1.40 with 26 strikeouts and six walks in 19.1 innings, while breaking into the Gators’ rotation.

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  8. 8

    Connor Prielipp

    Alabama LHP
    Notes:

    Under-the-radar in high school, Prielipp in 2020 broke out in a big way in his first year at Alabama. In 21 innings, he didn’t allow a run while striking out 35 batters and holding opponents to five hits and six walks.

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  9. 9

    Jack Leiter

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    Leiter, the son of former all-star Al Leiter, was the top-ranked player in the 2019 draft class to make it to campus. He impressed as a freshman, going 2-0, 1.72 with 22 strikeouts in 15.2 innings and this year will follow Rocker in the rotation.

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  10. 10

    Chris Newell

    Virginia OF
    Notes:

    No first-year position player had a better 2020 season than Newell, who hit .407/.545/.729 with four home runs and eight stolen bases in 18 games. He’ll be at the heart of the Virginia lineup again in 2021.

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  11. 11

    Ethan Wilson

    South Alabama OF
    Notes:

    As a freshman in 2019, Wilson hit .345/.453/.696 with 17 home runs en route to winning Sun Belt player of the year honors. This spring, he’s hoping to lead the Jaguars back to regionals and be the program’s latest first-round pick.

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  12. 12

    Colton Cowser

    Sam Houston State OF
    Notes:

    Cowser in 2019 hit .361/.450/.602 with seven home runs and nine stolen bases, earning him Southland Conference hitter of the year honors. He was the first player in program history to play for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team.

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  13. 13

    Sal Frelick

    Boston College OF
    Notes:

    In 54 career games, Frelick has hit .332/.428/.486 with six home runs and 25 stolen bases for the Eagles. He’s one of the toolsiest players in college baseball.

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  14. 14

    Ty Madden

    Texas RHP
    Notes:

    Madden this spring will move to the front of the Longhorns rotation after seeing his stuff tick up in fall ball. He’s 7-1, 2.81 over the last two years at Texas.

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  15. 15

    Jordan Wicks

    Kansas State LHP
    Notes:

    Wicks has been excellent for the Wildcats throughout his career and in 2019 was named Big 12 freshman of the year. For his career, he’s 9-3, 2.85 with 112 strikeouts in 110.2 innings.

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  16. 16

    Henry Davis

    Louisville C
    Notes:

    Long known for his defense, Davis took a step forward at the plate in 2020, hitting .372/.481/.698 with three home runs. He’ll be a crucial part of the Cardinals; lineup.

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  17. 17

    Steven Hajjar

    Michigan LHP
    Notes:

    A torn ACL sidelined him during Michigan’s 2019 run to the College World Series finals, but Hajjar bounced back in 2020. He went 3-0, 2.70 with 24 strikeouts in 20 innings and now will move to the front of the rotation.

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  18. 18
    Notes:

    With Heston Kjerstad and Casey Martin moving on to pro ball, Franklin will now be asked to step up in the Razorbacks’ lineup. After hitting .381/.467/.619 with three home runs in 2020, he’s ready for his close up.

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  19. 19

    Doug Nikhazy

    Mississippi LHP
    Notes:

    The Rebels’ ace has been excellent throughout his college career. In two seasons, he is 12-4, 3.12 with 117 strikeouts in 112.2 innings. He’s back to again lead one of the best rotations in the country.

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  20. 20

    Zach Pettway

    UCLA RHP
    Notes:

    Pettway has been UCLA’s Opening Day starter in each of the last two years and is 13-6, 3.44 on his career. His steady, reliable presence makes the Bruins tough to beat on Friday nights.

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  21. 21

    Levi Usher

    Louisville OF
    Notes:

    After spending one year at junior college, Usher transferred to Louisville for the 2020 season and was off to an outstanding start, hitting .411/.484/.571 with 11 stolen bases. He’ll look to carry that momentum into 2021.

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  22. 22

    Cody Morissette

    Boston College SS
    Notes:

    Morissette has started every game the last two seasons for BC, hitting .346/.402/.512 with six home runs and 11 stolen bases in the process. He’s an integral part of why the Eagles’ have such high upside this spring.

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  23. 23
    Notes:

    Goodman is one of the best power hitters in the country and is a career .333/.378/.612 hitter with 21 home runs and 13 stolen bases in two seasons.

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  24. 24

    Max Ferguson

    Tennessee 2B
    Notes:

    Ferguson is a dynamic player and hit .333/.462/.524 with nine stolen bases in 2020. He’s back looking to play a key role again in 2021 for an exciting Tennessee team.

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  25. 25

    Tommy Mace

    Florida RHP
    Notes:

    Mace again leads Florida’s rotation after an impressive 2020 season helped the Gators establish themselves as the top team in the nation. He last spring went 3-0, 1.67 with 26 strikeouts and five walks in 27 innings.

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