2021 NCAA Baseball Crystal Ball Predictions
Before the first pitch of the season is thrown, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy look into the crystal ball to make a few predictions for the 2021 season.
Looking for other parts of our annual college baseball preview? Find them below.
Teddy Cahill: Florida. The Gators were the best team in the country a year ago and now return nearly that entire team, plus they added another top-five recruiting class. That kind of talent is going to be hard to beat.
Joe Healy: Florida. Coming off a 16-1 season, with star power everywhere and depth to burn, Florida is as clear a title favorite as college baseball has seen in recent years.
Teddy Cahill: Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2015, but were off to a sensational 11-2 start in 2020. With star slugger Niko Kavadas back and experienced transfers coming in on the mound, Notre Dame is a sleeper in the ACC and beyond.
Joe Healy: Ohio State. A rotation of Seth Lonsway, Garrett Burhenn and Griffan Smith, supported by a veteran lineup, has the kind of upside you need to get to Omaha.
Player of the Year
Teddy Cahill: Alex Binelas, 3B, Louisville. Binelas was outstanding as a freshman in 2019, hitting .291/.383/.612. He should be the centerpiece of one of the best offenses in the country in 2021.
Joe Healy: Adrian Del Castillo, C, Miami. Del Castillo looks poised for a big season in Miami after hitting .336/.430/.571 with 24 doubles, 14 home runs and 87 RBIs in 77 games in his first two seasons.
Pitcher Of The Year
Teddy Cahill: Jaden Hill, RHP, Louisiana State. While Hill lacks the track record of other contenders, his upside is as good as anyone in the country. He has premium stuff and the strong build of a true ace.
Joe Healy: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt. Rocker will go into the season as the most talented pitcher in the country and the sport’s most famous name. He’ll look to wrap his Vanderbilt career with a bang.
Rocker, Leiter Become First Teammates To Win Player, Freshman Of The Year In Same Season
The Vanderbilt duo takes home our two respective awards, with Rocker winning 2021 Player of the Year and Leiter 2021 Freshman of the Year.
Freshman Of The Year
Teddy Cahill: Tanner Witt, RHP/3B, Texas. Witt has true two-way potential and will get the chance to show it at Texas. He has big raw power at the plate, and his fastball/curveball combination will play right away on the mound.
Joe Healy: Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech. One of the best 2020 draft prospects to arrive on campus in the fall, Parada is a dynamic athlete whose bat is ready to do damage in the ACC right away.