The 10 Most Intriguing Players In NCAA Baseball Tournament Regionals


Image credit: Ethan Bates (Photo courtesy of Louisiana Tech)

Regionals weekend never fails to deliver drama and excitement. But watching the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament can be a bit like drinking out of a firehose because of the sheer quantity of games and star players to watch.

This list should help refine your scope. These are the 10 most intriguing players in regionals. Not the 10 most talented or impactful (though many of these players certainly qualify for those lists), but the 10 players who could make the most noise this weekend. These are some of the most watchable players and the ones who are likely to shape regionals weekend. I also tried to spread the love around, so none of these players play in the same regional. There’s plenty of intrigue to go around, after all.

Whether you’ve been locked in on college baseball all season or are now dropping in for the tournament, there’s something for you here.


Ethan Bates, DH/RHP, Louisiana Tech: Bates was named Conference USA player of the year and is one of the best two-way players in the country. As the Bulldogs’ DH, the senior is hitting .343/.438/.622 with 15 home runs. As their closer, he is 2-1, 3.50 and leads the nation in saves (17). He this year took a step forward both as a hitter and on the mound. He’ll be at the heart of everything La Tech does this weekend in Fayetteville.

Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State: Hopefully, by now, everyone has figured out how good Bazzana is. But if Pac-12 After Dark wasn’t really your speed, this is a great opportunity to watch one of the best players in the country. He’s hitting .418/.581/.939 with 26 home runs, 71 walks, 32 strikeouts and 15 stolen bases. He is arguably the most dynamic player in the country. It’s easy to understand the buzz about him going first overall in July. Bazzana is also one of the most driven players in the nation. He will be pushing hard this weekend to get Oregon State to super regionals.

Tyler Bremner, RHP, UC Santa Barbara: All three of the Gauchos’ weekend starters are excellent and the rotation ranked third in the country in ERA (3.23), according to Bremner, a sophomore, is the best prospect of the group and next year could become the third first-rounder in program history. He this season is 11-0, 2.63 with 96 strikeouts and 19 walks in 82 innings. Bremner has a real three-pitch mix and his fastball works in the mid 90s. He has mostly pitched on Sundays. If he stays in that role this weekend, could help the Gauchos finish with a flourish.

Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida: Caglianone is the best two-way player in the country. If Florida is going to produce a postseason run, he’ll be at the heart of it. He is hitting .415/.525/.844 with 29 home runs and is 5-1, 4.35 on the mound. When he pitches is a point of significant interest this weekend in Stillwater. He has served as Florida’s No. 3 starter all season, allowing him to be fresh at first base and in the lineup the first two days of the weekend. Will Florida stick with that or will Caglianone pitch Saturday (Liam Peterson was announced as the starter in Friday’s opener against Nebraska)? There’s also the spectacle of him hitting at O’Brate Stadium, which plays very small this time of year. No matter what role Caglianone plays, he’s a must-watch player.

Jurrangelo Cijntje, BHP, Mississippi State: Cijntje stands out because he pitches with both hands. And when he takes the mound in Charlottesville–probably Saturday night–more people than ever are sure to be introduced to the sophomore, which could provide a cool moment in the spotlight. But he’s not some parlor trick of a pitcher. Cijntje this season is 8-2, 3.55 with 108 strikeouts and 29 walks in 83.2 innings. He has pitched his way into first-round consideration in the draft, thanks to both his performance and his power stuff. Cijntje is also no sure thing to switch pitch. He’s been focusing more and more on just throwing righthanded, where his fastball pushes into the upper 90s.

Charlie Condon, 3B, Georgia: Condon has been spectacular this season and is hitting .443/.558/1.043 with 35 home runs. He leads the nation in home runs and batting, which hasn’t been done since 2009 (Middle Tennessee State’s Bryce Brentz). His 35 home runs are the most in a single season in the 21st century and are the sixth-highest season total all-time. By his absurd standards, Condon is in a cold spell entering the tournament. He’s 6-for-20 with one home run in his last six games. Georgia will need Condon at his best to win a regional for the first time since 2008.

Jakob Hall, RHP, Oral Roberts: No. 4 seeds upsetting hosts is rare, but there’s usually one or two a year. One of this year’s best bets is Oral Roberts at Oklahoma thanks in no small part to Hall, who has been the Golden Eagles’ No. 1 starter for two years. The Summit League pitcher of the year is 10-2, 3.71 with 105 strikeouts and 19 walks in 102 innings. He last year helped ORU upset Oklahoma State and TCU in the NCAA Tournament. He’ll look to continue that postseason momentum in Norman.

Vance Honeycutt, OF, North Carolina: Honeycutt is hitting .314/.414/.686 with 22 home runs and 28 stolen bases, marking the second time in three seasons that he has produced a 20-20 season. He owns UNC’s career home runs record (59) and ranks sixth in stolen bases (76). He’s also an elite defensive center fielder, making him one of the best all-around players in the country. He can impact the game in a number of ways and is sure to make his presence felt in Chapel Hill.

Camden Janik, C, Illinois: Janik is the nation’s toughest player to strike out. He has whiffed just 10 times in 212 at-bats this season, an average of one every 21.2 at-bats. The junior is also Illinois’ leading hitter at .368/.455/.557 with seven home runs. Illinois has a powerful offense (8.21 runs per game) that led it to the Big Ten championship. The Illini are a tricky matchup for opposing pitchers in Lexington. Janik is a big part of the reason why.

JJ Wetherholt, SS, West Virginia: Wetherholt is arguably the best player in the country. He came into the year as the top-ranked player in the 2024 draft class before a hamstring injury sidelined him for about six weeks in February and March. West Virginia went 17-8 in the regular season after he returned and he’s hitting .356/.500/.663 with eight home runs in 31 games. The Mountaineers have a tough draw in Tucson, but they have the talent to make noise. If Wetherholt is at his best this weekend, watch out.

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