2023 NCAA Baseball Crystal Ball Predictions
Before the first pitch of the season is thrown, Teddy Cahill and Peter Flaherty look into the crystal ball to make a few predictions for the 2023 season.
Looking for other parts of our annual college baseball preview? Find them below.
Preseason Top 25 | All-Americans | Top 25 Previews, Conference Previews | BA Top 100 Draft Rankings | Preseason Field Of 64 Projection
Teddy: Louisiana State. The Preseason No. 1 team has won the national championship just once in the 21st century (2019 Vanderbilt). LSU has what it takes to finish the year atop the sport. The Tigers have the best lineup in the nation, one of the deepest pitching staffs and veterans who know how to win.
Peter: Louisiana State. This year’s LSU team is overflowing with talent. With a lineup headlined by Dylan Crews, Tre’ Morgan and Tommy White, and weekend rotation of Paul Skenes, Thatcher Hurd and Ty Floyd, it will be incredibly difficult to win a series against the Tigers at any point in the season. The Tigers are a team built for the long haul and can win their first national championship since 2009.
Teddy: Alabama. Every SEC West team has played in at least one of the last five College World Series—except Alabama. The Crimson Tide have the talent to compete with their division rivals and any team that survives the rugged regular season in the SEC West is sure to be a threat in the NCAA Tournament.
Peter: Washington. The hiring of coach Jason Kelly has breathed new life into the program. Coming off a respectable 2022 campaign (30-26, 14-16 Pac-12), and returning nearly all of its key contributors, the Huskies are going to surprise a lot of people this spring. This is an experienced bunch and with the addition of righthander Kiefer Lord, Washington will be a tough team to beat all year. The Huskies have the ingredients to make a postseason run.
Player of the Year
Teddy: Wyatt Langford, OF, Florida. Langford broke out last year to hit .355/.447/.719 with 26 home runs. It was one of the best offensive seasons in program history, but after a summer with Team USA, he’ll look to improve on it in 2023.
Peter: Dylan Crews, OF, Louisiana State. Since arriving in Baton Rouge in 2021, all Crews has done is perform. After hitting .362/.453/.663 with 18 home runs as a freshman, he hit .349/.463/.691 with 22 home runs last season en route to taking home co-SEC player of the year honors. Crews will be the centerpiece of a loaded LSU lineup and should have another monster season.
Pitcher Of The Year
Teddy: Tanner Hall, RHP, Southern Mississippi. Hall was an All-American in 2022 after going 9-3, 2.81 with 146 strikeouts and 14 walks in 109 innings. He’s back to lead the Golden Eagles’ rotation as a junior, with an eye on becoming the highest drafted pitcher in program history.
Peter: Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee. Dollander has arguably the best stuff in college baseball with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s, a plus slider, an above-average changeup and a more-than-serviceable curveball. He last year went a sparkling 10-0, 2.39 ERA and 108 strikeouts to 13 walks in 79 innings, winning the SEC pitcher of the year award. Perhaps the most MLB-ready arm in the country, Dollander projects to have a lights out season and is a candidate to go first overall in this year’s draft.
Freshman Of The Year
Teddy: Malcolm Moore, C, Stanford. Moore, the two-time California Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, was the highest ranked position player in last year’s top 500 draft prospects not to sign. Adjusting to college baseball isn’t easy for a catcher, but Moore has the offensive tools and pedigree to make an immediate impact.
Peter: Gavin Turley, OF, Oregon State. A true five-tool talent, Turley will step into the Beavers’ lineup in right field. Reports out of Corvallis this fall were glowing, and with his tantalizing power-speed combination, advanced approach and missile arm, Turley will be an impact player immediately.