College Baseball Is My Guilty Pleasure

Baseball is back!

Yes pitchers and catchers have reported, with spring training about to get underway. Baseball however is already being played.

Last weekend was the season opener for a large portion of college baseball teams and I couldn’t be happier. College baseball loves you enough to start just a couple weeks after the Super Bowl, to fill the sports void left in your life. The game is played the way it should be(minus the non-wood bats). The intensity, the passion, and the pride players play with is something that is missing in the MLB.

Top Storylines For 2019

Which conference will reign supreme?

The odds on favorites for this have to either be the SEC or the ACC. Both are powerhouse conferences when it comes to baseball. The SEC has eight teams currently in the top-25 , including all the top three in the polls. The ACC has five teams in the top 25, with numerous other who could jump in in the coming weeks. The SEC is a deeper conference, but once conference play starts that can lead to conference cannibalization in the polls. Also don’t sleep on the Big 12, who also has five teams ranked, there is just a drop-off after those five teams.

Who will take home the Golden Spikes award?

The Golden Spikes award is the de-facto MVP of college baseball. Last year Cal first-baseman Andrew Vaughn won the award after hitting a ridiculous .402 with 23 homeruns and 63 RBI. He has to be a clear front-runner for the award in his Junior season. Another top tier player is Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman who enjoyed his coming out party in Omaha last year. Texas Tech’s third baseman Josh Jung is another player to keep an eye on as well.

How do Texas and Florida re-tool after losing top end talent.

Year in and year out Kevin O’Sullivan’s Gators squad seems to lose their Friday and Saturday Pitchers( the #1 and #2 guys in the rotation) to the MLB draft. Almost always are they both first round picks too. This year is no different, as the Gators have to replace a healthy portion of their pitching staff, and they have the arms to do it. JJ Schwarz is another key loss for Florida, who must replace the captain’s bat and overall presence.

Likewise the Longhorns must replace new team legend Kody Clemens(son of Roger Clemens) after he led the team to Omaha with clutch hit after clutch hit. David Pierce’s squad also lost star shortstop David Hamilton to a preseason achilles injury.

Can legendary head coach Mike Martin finally win a College World Series?

Can Florida State head coach get his first title after 40 seasons. Martin is the all-time winningest coach in college baseball history, after surpassing Augie Garrido last year. The Seminoles are the 11th ranked team in the country and have more than enough talent to get to Omaha.

 

College baseball is back folks. If you’re like me you may be spending some time on Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching the SEC network to get a glimpse at a whole bunch of future MLB players.

-Dillon Leary

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