College Top 25
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Vanderbilt, the reigning national champion, opens the 2020 season ranked No. 1 in the Baseball America Top 25.
It is the second year in a row the Commodores have been ranked No. 1 in the Preseason Top 25 and the third time overall. Vanderbilt also began the season No. 1 in 2015, when it was also coming off a national championship.
The Commodores return All-American Austin Martin to anchor the offense and the bulk of last year’s pitching staff, including 2019 Freshman of the Year Kumar Rocker and closer Tyler Brown. Vanderbilt also this fall added the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, headlined by righthander Jack Leiter, who was the top-ranked player on last year’s BA 500 ranking of all draft-eligible players not to sign.
Louisville follows Vanderbilt at No. 2, matching its highest ranking in the history of the Baseball America Preseason Top 25. Arizona State, Florida and Miami round out the top five.
Led by Louisville, the ACC has eight teams in the Preseason Top 25, the most of any conference. The SEC closely follows with seven ranked teams.
The staff of Baseball America determines the Top 25 rankings.
Last year: 59-12; won national championship
After winning a national title in 2019, the Commodores aren’t going anywhere. Led by versatile offensive catalyst Austin Martin and sophomore sensation righthander Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt has the talent to repeat as champs.More Less
Last year: 51-18; reached College World Series
Lefthander Reid Detmers and righthander Bobby Miller give Louisville one of the best one-two punches in the country, and a dynamic offense returns six players who saw significant playing time a year ago. Competing for a national title is a realistic goal for the Cardinals.More Less
Last year: 38-19; reached regionals
Headlined by Spencer Torkelson, the Sun Devils should again have one of the best offenses in college baseball, but optimism about a pitching staff that could be much-improved is what really pushes Arizona State to the level of a true national title contender.More Less
Last year: 34-26; reached regionalsA young Florida team fought through growing pains for much of the 2019 season before getting hot late in the year and reaching a regional. Now, a much more seasoned Gators team has its sights set on a much larger, but realistic, goal: going to Omaha and coming home with hardware.More Less
Last year: 41-20; reached regional finalMiami returns three starting pitchers, its co-closer and eight position player starters from a team that very nearly did enough to host a regional last season. Add it up and you have a Miami team expected to end its season playing in Omaha.More Less
Texas TechBig 12Notes:
Last year: 46-20; reached College World SeriesFew programs reload their roster as well as Texas Tech does year after year, and they will have to do so again in 2020. But with a pitching staff filled with hard throwers, led by senior righthander John McMillon, and an offense as deep with quality options as any, the CWS is still the goal.More Less
Last year: 46-17; reached regional finalWith righthanders Emerson Hancock and Cole Wilcox leading the rotation and a quality defense anchored by senior shortstop Cam Shepherd, Georgia should be one of the best in the country in terms of run prevention, which bodes well for their chances to get to Omaha for the first time since 2008.More Less
Last year: 50-22; reached College World SeriesMichigan has the talent on hand to prove that last season’s run to the CWS finals was no fluke, highlighted by righthander Jeff Criswell on the mound and the outfield duo of Jesse Franklin and Jordan Nwogu.More Less
Last year: 52-15; reached College World SeriesCollege baseball cult hero Jake Mangum has moved on, but an offense led by outfielder Tanner Allen, second baseman Justin Foscue and shortstop Jordan Westburg and a rotation headlined by righthander J.T. Ginn is more than good enough to compete to be the top team in the SEC West.More Less
Last year: 52-11; reached super regionalsYou can set your watch to UCLA pitching as well as anyone in the country, and that should be the case again with starters Zach Pettway and Nick Nastrini back, supported by a bullpen featuring relief aces in Holden Powell and Kyle Mora.More Less
Last year: 46-20; reached College World SeriesOutfielder Heston Kjerstad and shortstop Casey Martin will look to go 3-for-3 in getting to Omaha in their Arkansas careers. After having an All-American at the front of the rotation for the last two years, sophomores Connor Noland and Patrick Wicklander will look to follow in the footsteps of Blaine Knight and Isaiah Campbell.More Less
Last year: 42-23; reached College World SeriesThe Seminoles sent Mike Martin out in style last season with a Cinderella run to the CWS. With C.J. Van Eyk leading the rotation and Reese Albert and Robby Martin doing so in the lineup, FSU has what it takes to welcome Mike Martin Jr. in style.More Less
Last year: 38-28; reached College World SeriesWith righthander Tanner Burns and lefthander Jack Owen fully healthy in the rotation and a lineup that returns seven of nine starters from last year, the Tigers look poised to prove that 2019 was just the beginning for a program on the rise.More Less
Last year: 40-26; reached super regionalsSophomore righthanders Cole Henry and Landon Marceaux give LSU a high-ceiling weekend rotation that it has lacked in the recent past, with outfielder Daniel Cabrera and first baseman Cade Beloso returning on offense to help lead the lineup forward without the departed Josh Smith, Antoine Duplantis and Zach Watson.More Less
Last year: 35-27; reached super regionalsDuke has momentum after reaching back-to-back super regionals. To keep that going, it will turn to experienced Friday starter Bryce Jarvis, a veteran bullpen and an athletic lineup that gives head coach Chris Pollard a lot of positional versatility.More Less
Oklahoma StateBig 12Notes:
Last year: 40-21; reached super regionalsWith three of its four starting pitching spots projected to go to freshmen, Oklahoma State will have one of the youngest rotations in college baseball, but that group’s upside is high enough that it’s not out of the question that they could pitch the Cowboys to Omaha.More Less
North Carolina StateACCNotes:
Last year: 42-19; reached regionalsYou know what you’re going to get with NC State. They’ll hit well as a team, lean on a versatile pitching staff and end up in regionals with a chance to host. With pitching depth and a veteran offense at their disposal, expect more of the same from the Pack in 2020.More Less
Last year: 46-19; reached super regionals
The UNC pitching staff is loaded with familiar names in Gianluca Dalatri, Joey Lancellotti and Austin Love, who have all pitched a lot of big innings for the Tar Heels. Offensively, first baseman Aaron Sabato gives the team one of the best power bats in the country.More Less
Last year: 33-23; missed NCAA tournamentA weekend rotation of Cade Cavalli, Levi Prater and junior college transfer Dane Acker has the chance to be one of the best in the country. The Sooners also return eight of nine starters from last year’s lineup, making this a highly-anticipated season in Norman.More Less
Last year: 31-26; missed NCAA tournamentHighlighted by first baseman Bobby Seymour, who led the nation in RBI last season, Wake Forest will once again score a ton of runs. On the mound, it will lean on a quartet of pitchers who pitched in the Cape Cod League - Jared Shuster, Ryan Cusick, Antonio Menendez and William Fleming.More Less
Last year: 43-19; reached regional finalShortstop Luke Waddell and outfielders Baron Radcliff and Michael Guldberg give the Yellow Jackets offense upside. New pitching coach Danny Borrell will look to bring along a rebuilt pitching staff, led by fifth-year senior Jonathan Hughes, quickly.More Less
Last year: 32-24; missed NCAA tournamentAn offense featuring Austin Wells, Matthew Dyer and Dayton Dooney will be good enough to win Arizona a lot of games. With new pitching coach Nate Yeskie on board, there is optimism that the pitching staff, which held the Wildcats back in 2019, could be improved.More Less
Last year: 43-20; reached regional finalDBU has made regional appearances in six consecutive seasons. With Collegiate National Team alumnus Burl Carraway back in the bullpen, Jimmy Glowenke back to lead the offense and the Patriots’ track record of consistency, seven in a row seems like a safe bet.More Less
Ohio StateBig TenNotes:
Last year: 36-27; reached regionalsOhio State made a torrid run to the Big Ten Tournament title to get to its second consecutive regional in 2019. With a rotation of Seth Lonsway, Garrett Burhenn and Griffan Smith returning, three straight regional trips for the first time since 2001-2003 is in play.More Less
Last year: 47-18; reached super regionalsECU mowed down the American Athletic Conference last season and hosted a regional for the second straight year. Despite heavy personnel losses, a rotation featuring Gavin Williams and Jake Kuchmaner and the presence of two-way star Alec Burleson makes the Pirates favorites in the league again.More Less