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Three Opening Weekend College Baseball Series To Watch From A MLB Draft Perspective

Ty Madden Brianwesterholtfourseam
Texas RHP Ty Madden (Photo by Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Here are three of the biggest series and tournaments we are paying attention to on college baseball’s opening weekend—from a draft perspective.

RELATED: Ultimate 2021 College Baseball Preview

Note that both 2022 & 2023 rankings describe players in a college-only list, compared to a 2021 ranking that features both college and high school prospects.

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 11 Miami

Friday, 5 p.m. ET—RHP Tommy Mace (Florida) vs. RHP Daniel Federman (Miami)
Saturday, 1 p.m. ET—RHP Jack Leftwich vs. RHP Alejandro Rosario
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET—LHP Hunter Barco vs. RHP Victor Mederos

If you were only able to watch one individual college series this weekend this should be the one you tune in to. That’s true for fans of college baseball in general and those who tune in with more of a draft-centric mindset.

This series features two of the top hitting prospects in the 2021 class in Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo and Florida outfielder Jud Fabian. Both have a chance to go off the board quickly in July and will be able to test their bat against quality arms in essentially every plate appearance of the series.

While Del Castillo and Fabian are the most prominent prospects in this matchup for 2021, draft prospects will be all over the field for both teams in current and future draft classes, including 2022 standouts lefthander Hunter Barco and righthander Victor Mederos and notable Miami 2023 prospects Alejandro Rosario and Yohandy Morales.

Every pitching matchup in this series will feature arms with day one draft potential.

Ranked 2021 Players:

Ranked 2022 Players: 

Ranked 2023 Players: 

No. 6 Vanderbilt vs. Wright State 

Vanderbilt announced Friday's opener has been postponed due to weather. We will update game times when they are available.

It’ll be hard to ignore Vanderbilt at any point this year considering its fearsome 1-2 punch in the rotation with righthanders Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter.

There are plenty of other Commodores who have future pro potential as well, but one of the most interesting hitters to watch for Vanderbilt this season might just be freshman outfielder Enrique Bradfield, who has the skill set to provide an immediate impact on the program with dynamic running ability in center field.

While most of the prominent prospects are on the Vanderbilt side in this series, keep an eye on Wright State second baseman Tyler Black, who had a freshman All-American season in 2019 and is a sleeper candidate for the 2021 draft.

Ranked 2021 Players: 

Ranked 2022 Players:

  • Spencer Jones, LHP, Vanderbilt — No. 7
  • Carter Young, SS, Vanderbilt — No. 32
  • Maxwell Romero, C, Vanderbilt — No. 57
  • TJ McKenzie, SS, Vanderbilt — No. 58
  • Grayson Moore, OF/RHP, Vanderbilt — No. 78
  • Chris McElvain, RHP, Vanderbilt — No. 86
  • Jack O’Dowd, INF, Vanderbilt — No. 90
  • Gavin Casas, 1B, Vanderbilt — No. 97

Ranked 2023 Players: 

Ty Madden (Mike Janes Four Seam Images)

Arm Slot Tweak Has Ty Madden Rolling

In his pro debut, Madden was dominating at the top of the strike zone, showing the ability to generate swings and misses on his fastball in a manner that didn’t regularly happen in college.

State Farm College Baseball Showdown

No. 14 Arkansas, No. 4 Mississippi, No. 8 Mississippi State, No. 12 Texas, No. 13 Texas Christian, No. 3 Texas Tech

Saturday, 12 p.m. ET — Texas vs. Mississippi State
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET — Texas Christian vs. Mississippi
Saturday, 8 p.m. ET — Texas Tech vs. Arkansas

Sunday, 12 p.m. ET — Mississippi State vs. Texas Christian
Sunday, 4 p.m. ET — Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
Sunday, 8 p.m. ET — Arkansas vs. Texas

Monday, 12 p.m. ET — Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State
Monday, 3:30 p.m. ET — Texas vs. Mississippi
Monday, 7 p.m. ET — Texas Christian vs. Arkansas

If being overloaded with baseball is more your style, check out the State Farm College Baseball Showdown, which features six teams all ranked among the top 14 teams in our College Top 25 and a whopping 36 ranked players in the 2021-2023 draft classes.

If you want to narrow your focus through all of the noise, the headliners of this tournament are mostly righthanders, with Ty Madden (Texas) and Gunnar Hoglund (Mississippi) solidly in first round territory right now, but several others—Eric Cerantola (Mississippi State), Will Bednar (Mississippi State)—who could easily move themselves into that position with a strong season.

There will be players to watch all over the diamond in every game, however, with a pair of Texas two-way players—Trey Faltine and Tanner Witt—of particular note among the underclassmen.

Ranked 2021 Players:

Ranked 2022 Players: 

Ranked 2023 Players:

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