Image credit: Spencer Torkelson (Photo by Zach Lucy/Four Seam)
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy discuss the 2020 Preseason All-Americans, as voted on by MLB scouting directors.
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College infielders are among the most talented subsets of players for this year’s draft and that was borne out in the All-American results, as Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson, New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales and Vanderbilt third baseman Austin Martin were all unanimous first-team selections. North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey, a top-notch prospect in his own right, was one vote shy of being unanimous.
In the outfield, Arkansas’ Heston Kjerstad was unanimous and Louisiana State’s Daniel Cabrera and UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell weren’t far behind. The votes on pitchers were much more competitive across the board, with only Georgia’s Emerson Hancock a unanimous first-team selection.
Arkansas, with Kjerstad and shortstop Casey Martin, is the only school to have multiple players appear on the first team, and with catcher Casey Opitz also on the third team, the Razorbacks are tied with Arizona State and Vanderbilt for most total All-Americans. And not shockingly, the Southeastern Conference leads all conferences with 16 All-Americans.
In particular, the SEC is loaded with outstanding pitching. Four of the six pitchers on the first team, and one-half of this year’s preseason All-American pitchers overall, come from the league.
Although a vast majority of these players come from major conferences, there are some examples of high-end talent in non-traditional places with Gonzalez on the first team, Florida International’s Logan Allen on the second team, and Sam Houston State’s Colton Cowser, Cincinnati’s Joey Wiemer and San Diego State’s Casey Schimitt on the third team.
Torkelson, Bailey, Kjerstad, South Carolina second baseman Noah Campbell and Mississippi State right-handed pitcher J.T. Ginn are all making back-to-back appearances, having been preseason All-Americans a season ago.