10 College Baseball Predictions
- Updated: February 16, 2017
Every year, College Baseball surprises me. I love this sport and everything about it, including the new possibilities and strange results at times. Last season, we watched National seed after National seed lose in the Super Regionals and an Omaha with quite a few underdogs, with Coastal Carolina winning it all. Most years, being a National Seed is so important, and it still will be in the future. But now…who knows what’s next.
2017 will feature a lot of great pitching staffs. You’ll see some familiar teams at the top, and you can count on a surprise or two….or eight.
Here are my predictions for the 2017 season:
- No surprise here, but the SEC and ACC will be outstanding conferences with at least 8 regional hosts. Last season, we saw the west coast have a disastrous regular season, but the Southeast really struggled come postseason time. I expect better postseason results from the SEC and ACC with Florida, USC, and FSU leading the way. One of these days, FSU is going to make the National Championship series…it just may not be with Mike Martin.
- TCU is absolutely loaded. They’ll be in Omaha.
- Louisville has a stud in Brendan McKay, but they’ll take a step back this year.
- Florida and Vanderbilt are stacked once again. Although both have had great success, especially Vandy recently in Omaha, if neither makes the National Championship series, they should be disappointed. The SEC East is always stacked and this year is no different. Both will make it to Omaha.
- Clemson – This pitching staff is a lot better than last year…although make no mistake…it’s NOT a great staff yet. Pat Krall is very very good, but will Clemson be able to afford not to make him the closer like USC did with Matt Price in 2012. Charlie Barnes is solid, but not a top of the line Friday Night guy. There are a lot of new arms in the bullpen, which will be refreshing for Clemson fans, but when compared to a USC, or TCU, or Vandy, this staff will come up short. Seth Beer quite possibly is the best player in College Baseball. Fans will hope the move to 1st base doesn’t affect him at the plate if he struggles defensively. So he may only hit .370 if that’s the case. I’m a big fan of SS Logan Davidson and he should be a 3 year starter. Chris Okey will be a HUGE loss and multiple guys will need to step up to protect Beer in the lineup. I think Clemson will be a Regional host and win it, but will lose in the Supers on the road. It will be a very nice season for the Clemson Tigers.
- Seth Beer is the National Player of the Year.
- The West will put 2 teams in Omaha. Oregon St will be much better and don’t sleep on Stanford this year. There will also be a surprise team in Omaha and that doesn’t include Stanford. Possibly a Nebraska, or Texas, or another smaller college.
- Gamecock Closer Tyler Johnson will be the best closer in College Baseball. He’s hitting 98 on the gun and will be unhittable most of the year.
- Chad Holbrook will get a raise and a contract extension at the end of the year because…
- The South Carolina Gamecocks will win the National Championship. The last time I picked USC was in 2012 and they lost the NC series to Arizona. This pitching staff is loaded and more importantly, they have a safe guard in Cody Morris as a starter and Reed Scott as a reliever. Clark Schmidt is ready to go all year as his arm strength has never been better. Will Crowe will only get stronger as the year goes on and he’ll bring that swag back. Josh Reagan and Johnson are the best 1-2 punch in College Baseball out of the bullpen. This lineup also will be better, even though they lost Gene Cone and Dom Thompson-Williams. I love TJ Hopkins and he’ll be solid all year. Chris Cullen will be a huge piece as if he can hit close to .300 with double digit HRs, USC will reach their goals. But the biggest question may be is Maddison Stokes ready to be a Omaha bound SS. He needs to be an anchor defensively, hit for power and a pretty solid average. All of this will be new for him in one year, but he certainly has the tools. Also don’t be surprised to see 2B LT Tolbert to be all conference. Now that he is the everyday second baseman, his batting average should shoot up. This team is deep, loaded with pitching, and has just the right amount of crazy in that dugout to make it back to Omaha. If that happens, they are built perfectly to win that tournament. Oh…and USC will be a national seed as well.