The month of March is right around the corner. Which means college basketball teams are fighting tooth and nail for the chance to play in the March classic. But this week, I am taking my writing talents to the diamond.
College baseball just opened up last weekend, and the road to Omaha has begun. There are teams that I think could be the early favorite, and there are sleepers out there. Let’s get ready to rumble.
The obvious favorite this year is the TCU Horned Frogs. The Frogs have punched their ticket to Omaha the last three seasons and they also come in as the number 1 ranked team in the country. Why are they my favorite? 22. 22 lettermen return. The Frogs could win 50 or more games this year with their experience alone.
A team to look out for is the” Vandy Boys”, or as many of us know them as the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Commodores have two of the top draft prospects in Jeren Kendall (CF) and Kyle Wright (RHP), these two could easily go 1 and 2 in next year’s MLB draft. Vandy plays in the SEC, which is one of the top conferences in the game. Especially with perennial powerhouse LSU inside the top 5 to start the season, as well as Florida (who won over 50 games last year) and South Carolina also inside the top 10. The Commodores could be the team to run the table and win the SEC even with all that competition.
The returning champ, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers are already struggling to open the season. They opened up 1-2, with Andrew Beckwith getting roughed up in an appearance against Western Carolina. With Beckwith in the bullpen to start the season, the Chants look to be in the rebuild after last season. I don’t like that at all, especially with Alex Cunningham (another big time pitcher) also in the rotation. The Chants will need to figure it out, and figure it out soon if they want a shot at repeating. Beckwith was quoted in saying that they have more starters than relievers, so maybe he is trying to become Coastal’s version of Andrew Miller.
There is always that team that can shock some people. Boston College shocked me last year, and they nearly upset Miami. As a kid from Massachusetts, I would love to see a team like B.C. or U.R.I. make a run in the Super Regionals. Then there is a team like Cal State Fullerton, a no name school in every other sport, then it’s time to lace up the spikes and they are a powerhouse. Watch out for those fellas from Fullerton, they could make a deep run.
I never make college baseball picks for the tournament. But if I am a betting man, I think we might see TCU, Louisville and Arizona all make trips to Omaha. I will also make the bold prediction that Coastal and UCSB might not make it, even though both were lovable teams last year. Stay handsome everyone, till next week.