College Baseball Top 25 Chat (5/6/19)
To see this week's Top 25, click here.
Teddy Cahill: Welcome to this week's college baseball chat. Let's get right to those questions
- Who gets the #1 overall seed if UCLA and Vandy both win out?
Teddy Cahill: Quite possibly Vanderbilt. It has one game left against an RPI 200+ team. UCLA has four this week. The Commodores are highly likely to finish with more top 50 wins. It's probably just going to come down to what the RPI says if they both win their leagues, unless the committee wants to reward UCLA for its nonconference schedule, which is vastly superior to Vanderbilt's.
Al (Greenville, NC):
- If East Carolina wins the AAC tournament, is it possible that is a one bid league? Also, man what a down year for the State of South Carolina as a whole with regards to baseball. South Carolina and Coastal have really struggled and Clemson is off too
Teddy Cahill: No, I think between UConn and Houston at least one of those teams will put together a good couple of weeks and pull itself up the standings a bit to garner a bid. It's certainly not been a good year in the Palmetto State. Strange to see all those programs struggling at the same time.
Burke Lyle (Athens):
- How ,icy does the sweep of Florida help Georgia in terms of a top 8 national seeding? Second does Florida have to win the rest of the their SEC games and a SEC tournament run get into the NCCA tournament?
Teddy Cahill: It was good for Georgia but not game-changing. I think most importantly it just got the Bulldogs back on track after getting swept at Mississippi State. Georgia has been in good shape for some time for a top-eight seed. Florida is now 9-15 in the SEC. I would say if the Gators go 6-0 down the stretch, they'll be in regardless of what happens in Hoover. 5-1 would be bubbly, regardless of Hoover. Anything less and Florida will go to the SEC Tournament needing to win some games to get in, much like Texas A&M last year.
- WVU loses 2 out of 3 to TCU(last place) at home. Is there still any shot they can a regional host with a strong finish?
Teddy Cahill: Yes. But I think WVU will need to do something in the Big 12 Tournament now. That 28-17, 11-10 record just isn't particularly special right now.
- If Arkansas wins the final two series it has. Do they solidify a top 3 National seed or will they still have to win some in the Sec tournament?
Teddy Cahill: I guess, no. Because if Mississippi State finished strong and then went out and won the SEC Tournament, it probably passes Arkansas. Or if Louisville did the same in the ACC, the Cardinals could pass the Hogs.
- With consecutive sweeps in the Big 12 will Tech finally push into the top 8 national seeds or does it still have more work to do?
Teddy Cahill: Well, it may be there, but there's also still work to be done. It's resume is remarkably similar to Georgia Tech's right now and one of Oregon State or Stanford is going to get back into the top eight seed mix in the next few weeks. So Texas Tech has done a great job to get to this point, but it's definitely not safe yet.
- Why does Baseball America have Georgia Tech ranked lower than other major polls? The Jackets are 8th in RPI, tied for first in their half of the ACC, have the #6 SOS, 15-9 against Q1 opponents, but have yet to be mentioned in the “Eight for Omaha.” Does this mean you expect them to do poorly against Duke, Pitt or in the ACC Tournament? Thanks
Teddy Cahill: These are two separate things. I personally don't think they're going to Omaha, that's why they haven't been in Eight for Omaha. I think I've been pretty clear all season long about my skepticism, especially when it comes to this team's pitching. As for the ranking, I don't know, who do you want them ranked ahead of? A Texas Tech team that's in essentially the same position in a better conference? A team that's running away with its conference and also lost to UCLA? Sure, maybe. But those teams are all pretty close at that level. We're ranking Georgia Tech in the top 10. It's not like we have them 20th.
Bear James (Seal Beach):
- How does UCLA look heading into the final stretch of the regular season? Do you think the lack of a Pac 12 tournament helps or hurts the conference in terms of getting teams positioned for the post season?
Teddy Cahill: UCLA looks like the best team in the country. I don't think conference tournaments do anything for a team's postseason preparation one way or the other. They give bubble teams a chance to play their way into the tournament, but I don't think anything about that format helps or hurts the rest of them. Ole Miss won the SEC Tournament last year. It lost a home regional the next weekend. Louisville hasn't won a conference tournament in a decade but has won five regionals in that stretch.
- Well FSU won the Pitt Series so how are they looking for postseason? Does a Richmond Series win and a Louisville series loss still get them in?
Teddy Cahill: As I said last week, yes. Florida State is fine as long as it takes care of business at home, particularly if it doesn't go 0-2 at the ACC Tournament.
Theodora (Westwood CA):
- Did Oregon State getting swept this weekend take them out of the national seed hunt or do they have enough time to recover? Is ASU still in the hunt to host a regional? Thanks!
Teddy Cahill: If Oregon State recovered and won the Pac-12 - which is still fully on the table, it's tied with Stanford for first place3 right now - it would likely still be in the mix as a top-eight seed. But I don't know what we've seen over the last couple weeks to suggest that is a likely outcome. It's hard for me to see the Beavers going to Stanford and winning the series, which it will need to do to win the Pac-12. Arizona State is definitely out of the hosting race. The last month has not gone well for the Sun Devils.
Miguel Bruin (Los Alamitos):
- Great chats as always! How many high quality starters does a team need to win a College World Series (for example, could you get away with 2 high end starters and an OK 3rd option)?
Teddy Cahill: Coastal did it on two. Oregon State arguably did it on one. Both those teams had premium bullpens backing them up, which was critical. And in Coastal's case it helped that Andrew Beckwich's sidearm delivery made it easier for him to throw a lot. But even then the Chants had to get an unexpected outstanding start from closer Mike Morrison. The answer is definitely two high-end starters, especially if you can stay out of the losers' bracket. But the reality is eventually someone unexpected is going to have to step up and eat innings, whether that's Morrison making a start or Brandon Eisert and Christian Chamberlain making extended relief appearances for Oregon State or Tyler Dyson starting a game in the CWS finals for Florida.
Esperanza Thi (Orange, CA):
- Your top 25 chats are must reads! How many West Coast teams to you think will host? Who are the hottest teams in the nation heading down the homestretch?
Teddy Cahill: Still probably three West Coast hosts, although nothing positive has happened to anyone's RPI out there - except UCLA - lately. As for hottest teams, Vanderbilt and Michigan have won 11 straight. Texas Tech is red-hot. ECU and Louisville are quietly pretty hot right now and have been for some time. And UCLA just keeps cruising along.
- Creighton's hosting ship sailed with the series loss to Xavier. Is their at-large ship still afloat?
Teddy Cahill: Yes. Creighton is still looking very good, especially now that it's back into first place in the Big East. Now, the margin for error is small because the rest of the schedule is at home against teams outside the top 100 in RPI. But if the Bluejays just take care of business over the next two weeks, they should be just fine. The magic threshold last year for mid-major types seemed to be top 40 RPI, 35+ wins and a top-two finish in the regular seasons standings. Creighton is on track for all of that.
- Do you think Ole Miss with its shaky pitching rotation will make a deep run in the postseason?
Teddy Cahill: The Rebels could do it. They've had some really nice weekends this season. But if they don't get another arm or two to step up, it's hard to be overly confident that they will do it. The good news is Ole Miss' offense is plenty good enough to bash its way through a regional and at that point it's largely about the matchup.
- Does location matter for the committee when matching up national seeds for what “should” be the super regional? Ex. If UCSB hosts will they end up getting matched with UCLA or another Pac-12 for the supers?
Teddy Cahill: No, they started seeding the hosts 1 through 16 last year and eliminated the geography component of the super regional pairings.
- ECU has positioned itself to finish strong and grab a top 8 national seed. When the committee is making these decisions and they are deciding seed #'s 7,8,9 range, will ECU's conference hurt them? If they are deciding between ECU, Georgia Tech, Georgia and let's say Oregon State, what factors swing the committee's decisions?
Teddy Cahill: They're mostly looking at RPI, top-50 and top-100 wins and the input they get from regional advisory committees. There are some other metrics that get looked at as well. But ECU's conference is not going to be a big drawback. It is in the sense that it limits the chances the Pirates have to play top-50 teams, but they're doing all they can in it and dominating. The American being down isn't helping ECU but it's also not a disqualifier.
- Obviously it is a long time away, but who do you project as potential top 2 picks out of this year’s freshman class? Does Noah Cardenas look like a future first rounder?
Teddy Cahill: Let's go Kumar Rocker and Nander De Sedas. Is that the easy way out by picking the top two players from last year's BA 500 to get to school? Yeah, probably. I don't have a good enough feel for Cardenas right now to evaluate his draft stock in a couple year's time. But he's having a really nice season for UCLA. That was a good pickup by the Bruins. He went under the radar in high school and they're reaping the benefits of that.
- On your skepticism of Georgia Tech, what do you need to see from them to consider than an Omaha team. Their bullpen can be inconsistent, but their batting has done well to limit it this season.
Teddy Cahill: I feel kind of bad about it because I don't think Georgia Tech can do anything to win me over before the postseason. It won a series at Louisville and I still wasn't ready to jump on the bandwagon. For me it's both an issue of depth and elite arms and I just think the ACC isn't set up to expose that. But the way Georgia Tech is playing right now, it'll have the opportunity to prove me wrong in the NCAA Tournament.
Steve (Lincoln, Ne):
- Is Nebraska out of the tournament for now? Surely there horrible play, especially hitting lately has knocked them out. They have some good non-conference wins but 9 of there 12 Big 10 wins are against the bottom teams. Plus possibly getting swept-ed by Northwestern is pretty sad.
Teddy Cahill: Nebraska is suddenly looking very bubbly. I wouldn't say out right now, but when we go to put together this week's Field of 64, we'll be taking a longer look at the Huskers. The good news is that it finishes with Arizona State and Michigan, so it can really improve that RPI quickly. The bad news is that those are two pretty good teams, though the Sun Devils come to Lincoln in a bit of a funk.
- Is there anyone you could foresee making the big leagues this season ala Brandon Finnegan
Teddy Cahill: The short answer is no. Even in a class with good college pitching that's such a tough needle to thread because the team has to be willing to start the service time clock right away. 10 months ago I would have said Graeme Stinson but that's not he case today. And then this year's subpar college pitching crop means there just aren't as many players that are positioned to do it. That was an incredibly rare set of circumstances that led to Finnegan's meteoric path that I don't think we'll see repeated much going forward.
Noah (Winston-Salem, NC):
- Wake Forest had an off weekend for exams, but are they in the tournament in your opinion? Assuming that they are not, what do they have to do to get in?
Teddy Cahill: Right now? No. Not at 27-10, 12-12. But with a solid finish against Miami and at Clemson, Wake can move into the field. It's not that far off right now. 4-2 in those games and win the midweek against Radford and I think they could feel pretty good. 3-3 probably means Wake would go to Durham on the bubble but have a chance there to secure a bid with a good ACC Tournament.
- Off the top of your head who are the top college players eligible for the 2020 draft?
Teddy Cahill: Spencer Torkelson, Emerson Hancock, Casey Martin, Reid Detmers, Tanner Burns, JT Ginn, Cole Wilcox, Patrick Bailey, Asa Lacy, Max Meyer, Kevin Abel.
Gabriel (Nice, France):
- Hey guys!! More baseball fans in France then you think, and more surprisingly, mostly Cal State Fullerton fans. There is some worry internationally by us Titan fans that Vanderhook may be gone after the season they are having. I think that would be hasty, considering he's an elite coach, but this is uncharted territory for the Tusks. 1) Do you think he's gone? And 2) Is this a top 25 team next year? Considering how young they are. Thank you for your time!! Passe une bonne semaine!!
Teddy Cahill: This is awesome. The more college baseball fans in France, the better. Seriously music to my ears. As for the questions, no, I don't think Vanderhook will be gone. That would be hasty. I know this is not what anyone wants but he did have them in Omaha two years ago and nearly had them back a year ago. Top 25 next year? Maybe. They are awfully young and there should be another good group coming in. I don't think I'd say that right now but if it happened, I also wouldn't be surprised.
- At this point in the season, who are your favorites to win the CWS?
Teddy Cahill: For me, right now it's UCLA and Vanderbilt. I think those are the two most complete teams out there.
Teddy Cahill: That'll do it for today. Thank you all for your questions. Remember there will be a new Projected Field of 64 on Wednesday, which hopefully will answer some of your NCAA Tournament based questions.