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2019 College Baseball Top 25 Chat (3/4/19)

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Will Wilson, NC State (Photo by Carl Kline

Click here to see the updated College Top 25.

Teddy Cahill: Welcome to this week's college chat. I'm coming to you from Houston, where I was covering the Shriners College Classic, always one of the premier events on the calendar. There was plenty of entertaining action around the country this week, so let's get to your questions.

ValleyBall1 (Trabuco Canyon, CA): 

    Why no love for ASU? The Sun Devils moved to 11-0 on the season, the team's longest winning streak and longest streak to open a season since going 24-0 to kick off 2010. ASU also recorded 10 or more runs for the seventh time on the year. Lastly, ASU's four home runs on the day give the Sun Devils 16 on the season. I know the Pac-12 is stacked at the top with UCLA, Stanford, and OSU but where does ASU rank? Will a sweep of Fullerton this week move them into consideration?


Teddy Cahill: Arizona State has played its way into the discussion, but a few things are working against it. First of all, the Top 25 is really crowded this time of year before conference play starts. And two, Arizona State has yet to leave Phoenix Muni and frankly hasn't played a strong slate to this point. Notre Dame, UC Davis and Michigan State just aren't doing much for the strength of schedule. Now, to ASU's credit, it is really beating up on those teams. But that left the Sun Devils on outside for now. I am very intrigued to see how they fare this week at Fullerton (weather permitting), but I'm even more interested to see what happens in a couple weeks when they travel to Oregon for their first road weekend of the year.

Russell (Austin, TX): 

    Wow!!! I was extremely impressed with Texas this weekend. Didn't expect them too sweep LSU. Great for the Horns. Do you think Texas exposed LSU this weekend? When I mean exposed, do you think that LSU will have a hard time against teams of their caliber? Thanks.


Teddy Cahill: Texas was absolutely impressive this weekend. That was an outstanding series for the Longhorns. Their hitters did a great job all weekend long and their pitchers did a good job against a powerful LSU lineup. Did Texas expose LSU? I wouldn't say that. LSU was always going to have growing pains - I didn't think they'd be this severe, but for all the returning talent on the roster, they're still relying on a lot of new players. The Tigers need to regroup quickly with SEC play just a couple weeks away, but in the long run, Paul Mainieri will get that time lined up the way it needs to be.

Cole (Eastern NC): 

    Why is NC State currently sitting behind teams like ECU who has not played a strong schedule and they have dropped four games, or a team in Coastal Carolina who NC State beat at home?Glad to see they are in the poll this week though.


Teddy Cahill: Because we're only through three weekends and the Top 25 still has a fair amount of projection in it. Give it a couple more weeks when we have a better understanding of what these teams are as teams get into conference play and that'll be out of there.

Will (Jackson, MS): 

    Is there any team that looks like they have been playing better baseball right now than Mississippi State?


Teddy Cahill: Mississippi State is playing really well right now, but so have Vanderbilt, UCLA, North Carolina, Stanford, Oregon State and Texas.

Mark (Atlanta): 

    What are your thoughts on Georgia Tech right now? With Xzavion Curry, Connor Thomas, and the emergence of Brant Hurter that seems like a great rotation with the great offensive potential of Tristin English, Kyle McCann, Chase Murray (slow start), and others. Could they be a ranked team with a lengthy postseason run?


Teddy Cahill: I remain more skeptical than a lot of people on Georgia Tech, including Joe Healy, who picked them as his Omaha sleeper in the preseason. So, sure, it could come together for the Yellow Jackets. I don't think those people are wrong, per se, I just am not there right now. I have all the same concerns I had about Georgia Tech coming into the year and until they prove they can win in the ACC, I don't see them going away. The next three weeks - at Miami, vs. Virginia, at Louisville - is Georgia Tech's chance to prove that it can reach a higher level this season.

JFL (Toronto): 

    Hey, thanks for doing this chat. What are your thoughts on Will Holland start to the season? I've read reports that he makes highlight reel plays at SS but from what I have seen he's been a bit shaky on the field.


Teddy Cahill: Those same reports (at least at BA) also say he's inconsistent. Holland is still a little raw, but the tools and athleticism are real. He's off to a slow start at the plate .171/.396/.229, but I think he'll get it turned around. He's a good player and Auburn really needs him to produce at the heart of the lineup.

JD (Portland, Oregon): 

    While Oregon States Pitching stood firm the bats sure went on a Vaction!!! What are your thoughts moving forward with the Beavs?


Teddy Cahill: It's almost like Oregon State lost three top-40 picks from its lineup. The Beavers have some younger hitters in the lineup this year and there are going to be some growing pains. What they did in Surprise was great, but it's also not surprising to see them scuffle a bit against a pretty good pitching staff. This is not last year's Beavers' team. It's going to need to rely a little more on it's pitching staff this year, at least until the young hitters get a little more experience.

Matt (Beebe): 

    Arkansas?? What do the Hogs have to do to earn some more respect? Agreed that the Hogs lost some grade A talent. But if you have watched any of our games we pretty much reloaded!! Ezell has been a great addition as well as Franklin. Not to mention one of our more experienced players in Jack Kinnely has came out guns a blazing. I also think we will have a tremendous pitching staff as soon as Wicklander gets a good feel for collage ball and gets out of his nerves. DVH has a great squad and I just believe the polls are not giving them enough respect! truth be told we should be undefeated right now I know should would coulda but hey at least we are winning games we should be and allot of people ahead of us in the "polls" aren't.


Teddy Cahill: Look, if Arkansas is as good as you think, they'll move up in time. But, right now, the Hogs' schedule has been more misdemeanor's row than murderer's row. I commend Arkansas for trying and scheduling a home-and-home with USC, but this is not a good USC team. And Arkansas doesn't need to be going crazy with its schedule now. The SEC West will take care of that soon enough. But right now, it's hard to see what the Hogs have done that's so different than Georgia or Michigan or Auburn or Ole Miss.

Anthony (Boston): 

    So, Long Beach has admittedly had a loaded schedule, but 0-10 is...not great. After 2018's disappointment too, is Troy Buckley in some danger there?


Teddy Cahill: Long Beach two years ago won the Big West for the first time in a decade and made super regionals. He's fine. And the Dirtbags are probably one of the best 0-10 teams you'll ever see. All of that said, as you said, this is not great. I admire the willingness to play the kind of nonconference schedule the Dirtbags do, but playing an SEC schedule without an SEC team is not advised.

This guy (Over there): 

    Where would Adley and Vaughn rank among the top bats from last year - namely Kelenic, Gorman, Jones, India?


Teddy Cahill: One and two

Al (Greenville, NC): 

    ECU has the talent. ECU has the experience. Through the easiest part of the schedule, they are 8-4. I know it's early, but the competition is really about to get ramped up. Is is time for concern?


Teddy Cahill: Personally, I'd wait until ECU gets into that better competition before really starting to worry. It's not been an encouraging start at all for ECU, but I could see them raising their level of play to match the better competition. We'll find out soon enough thanks to this very interesting two-game midweek swing through Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

HawkTalk (NY): 

    My Commodores are off to a good, but imperfect start. Two guys who basically haven't been imperfect are Austin Martin and JJ Bleday. Other than them and Adley Rutschman, who are the players around the nation who've staked an early case to be considered for the person to loses to Andrew Vaughn in the Golden Spikes award?


Teddy Cahill: We'll have a better look at the early Player of the Year race next week at BaseballAmerica.com. But given what Rutschman and Vaughn are doing right now, I'm not sure how much farther it's even worth looking. Torkelson is off to a good start, Nick Gonzales has crazy numbers against bad competition at New Mexico State, Drew Mendoza is raking, as is Bryson Stott. On the mound, Michigan's Tommy Henry has been lights out, Tanner Burns is going off, Ethan Small hasn't waked anyone and Navy's Noah Song leads the country in strikeouts.

Matt (Va): 

    How high will Noah Song go in this year‘s draft?


Teddy Cahill: Speaking of Noah Song - we had him ranked No. 135 on the BA500 last year. He didn't get drafted because of a lot of complicated stuff related to being at a service academy, but as a senior, much of that goes away. He still has military service requirements and then you have to evaluate his talent, but if a team is confident they can work around his service requirements, he probably goes in the top five rounds. He's special.

Tom (Corvallis, OR): 

    Are the Ducks for real? It would be nice if they could challenge OSU for once but I doubt it. Seen this story before.


Teddy Cahill: Can they both be real and not be ready to challenge Oregon State? We had the Ducks as a regional team coming into the year and I'm feeling pretty good about that right now. But there's still a not small gap between Oregon and Oregon State.

Neal (Columbia, SC): 

    Its always fun beating Clemson and moving back into the top 25. Where do you see this South Carolina Gamecocks team going? Do you feel better about them now vs the preseason? Hopkins and the offense are doing well but the young pitching has been the real surprise.


Teddy Cahill: Before the season South Carolina wasn't a Top 25 team and now its 20th. I wouldn't have thought the Gamecocks would win the Clemson series. So, yeah, I feel better. I still have some questions and Mlodzinski's injury leaves a hole in the rotation. But there's some exciting talent in Columbia and Mark Kingston always gets the most out of his teams. It's another solid team at South Carolina, I think.

Teddy Cahill: That'll do it for today, as I have a plane to catch here soon. Thank you for all the questions. See you guys back here next week.

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