Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

CWS 2022: Super Regional recap and CWS Preview


Reminder, here’s my set of CWS resources:

Resources/links I use heavily during CWS time:

Here’s a quick run-through of the Super Regionals (the higher seed is the host in all cases; the teams are listed in classic 1-16, 8-9, 5-12 … format as this dictates the pools in Omaha. Bold = Winner.

  • #1 Tennessee vs Notre Dame: Notre Dame shocked the #1 team in the nation in Game 1, jumping way ahead early and holding on. Tennessee rebounded to blow out ND in game two 12-4 and force the decider. In that decider, ND’s senior leadership led to a huge upset, downing the #1 overall seed and ensuring that the #1 overall seed misses Omaha for the 3rd successive season with a 7-3. win.
  • #8 ECU vs #9 Texas: ECU dominated game 1, with Battlefield grad Zach Agnos playing SS and pitching the last two innings for the save. Texas turned the tables on ECU in game two, coming from 2-7 down in the 7th to walk it off in the 9th to force the game 3 decider. Unfortunately for ECU, Texas came out swinging in game 3 and blew away the Pirates to advance.
  • #5 TAMU vs #12 Louisville: TAMU got a walk-off win in game 1, winning in the 9th. In game 2 TAMU held on for a 4-3 win to be the first team to punch a ticket to Omaha.
  • #4 Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma: VaTech’s starter was wild early, and the Hokies couldn’t recover, dropping game 1 to the Sooners. Tech blew out Oklahoma in game two 14-8 to force the decider. In that decider, Oklahoma scored in 7 of the game’s 9 innings to overpower tech 11-2 to move to Omaha.
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Auburn: Game 1 turned into a bullpen game, and Auburn held on for the upset win. Oregon State won a tense 4-3 battle in game 2 to force the monday finisher. there, the SEC team held serve and held on to take another close battle to advance.
  • Ole Miss vs #11 Southern Miss: USM’s pitching melted down to give up 7 runs to put the game 1 out of reach. In Game 2, Ole Miss’ pitching was dominant, giving up just 3 hits to a 5-0 win and a two game sweep. Lest we forget, Ole Miss was a 3-seed in its regional, now they’re going to Omaha.
  • Arkansas vs #10 UNC: Arkansas controlled game one with stellar starting pitching. In a thrilling game 2 finish, Arkansas scored two in the 9th to get a comeback, walk-off win to break UNC’s hearts and advance.
  • #2 Stanford vs UConn: UConn destroyed Stanford’s starter (the Pac12 pitcher of the year Alex Williams, getting him for 7 runs in the first inning and a half … then somehow survived Stanford scoring 6 in the bottom of the ninth to come up just short in a 13-12 thriller. Stanford 1st rounder Brock Jones had a 3-homer day and it still wasn’t enough. Stanford won comfortably 8-2 in the second game to force the Monday close-out game. Stanford controlled game three and was never really in jeopardy, punching their ticket to Omaha as the favorite thanks to #1 Tennessee’s ouster.

Summary: the seeds and hosts got shredded. #1 out, #3 out, #4 out, #10 and #11 swept by non-seeds.

My Super Regional predictions: #1 Tennessee, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma, #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford.

Super Regional actuals: Notre Dame, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma, #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford

So I got 7 of 8 predictions right. Missed on Tennessee like everyone else … though i will say the d1baseball guys really thought Notre Dame had a chance there, so its not a huge surprise.

Here’s your 2022 CWS field.

  • top half: : Notre Dame, #9 Texas, #5 TAMU, Oklahoma
  • bottom half: #14 Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, #2 Stanford

Field discussion/Conference representation: 

  • ACC: 1: Notre Dame
  • SEC: 4: TAMU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn
  • Big12: 2: Texas, Oklahoma (ironically, both moving to SEC soon)
  • Pac12: 1: Stanford

SEC comes up big here, sending 4 teams to Omaha and 2 more who are actively moving to the SEC.  The ACC, despite being nearly on a par with the SEC from a conference ranking perspective, really came up short.

Star Power in the CWS: Here’s some of the big names and top 2022 draft prospects in the CWS. Not a lot; maybe a couple guys who could go in the back half of the first, maybe a couple 2nd rounders. This is definitely not like years past where we had upper 1st round arms all around.

  • Notre Dame: Jack Brannagan, RHP/3B two way guy, might be a 6th/7th rounder
  • Arkansas: Cayden Wallace, 3B. Perhaps a 3rd rounder. Helium guy, can play 3B or OF, great arm, showing a ton of power.
  • Arkansas: Robert Moore, 2B. Son of KC GM Dayton Moore, may be a 4th/5th rounder. Bat has struggled but still has speed.
  • Arkansas: Peyton Pallette, RHP: TJ surgery earlier this year, so not actually playing but projected as a 1st rounder perhaps before surgery. Might go 2nd round.
  • Oklahoma: Peyton Graham, SS. Perhaps a 2nd rounder. Really tall and skinny guy, unclear if sticking at short.
  • Oklahoma: Jake Bennett, LHP: Nats pick in 2019, big body lefty who can bring it mid 90s. 2nd/3rd rounder. His showing against Virginia Tech may have bumped him up a round or so, could be a riser.
  • Texas: Ivan Melendez, 1B; national leader in homers this year with 29 and made a run at the division 1 triple crown. 1B only, but will get drafted 2nd/3rd round
  • Texas: Silas Ardoin, C. Little recruited out of HS 3 years ago, now a solid C prospect; Perhaps 3rd round.
  • Texas: Trey Faltine, SS: defense-first, has slipped since being more highly regarded out of HS. Seems like a 5th rounder
  • Texas: Pete Hansen, LHP. Pitchability guy without overpowering stuff, maybe an 8th rounder
  • Ole Miss: Hayden Dunhurst, C. Not a big bat, likely an 8th-10th rounder
  • Ole Miss: Derek Diamond, RHP; not big stuff, might go in the teens.
  • Stanford: Brock Jones, OF who blew up in the super regional and looks like a late 1st rounder.
  • Stanford: Kody Huff, C might be a 5th/6th rounder.
  • Auburn: Sonny Dichara, 1B who is the team’s biggest slugger. Has just ridiculous stats this year (.392/.560/.809) but was undrafted out of HS and may go in the 5th-6th round.


  • In the top-half…#5 TAMU over #9 Texas.
  • In the bottom half…#14 Auburn over #2 Stanford

Final: TAMU wins.

Written by Todd Boss

June 14th, 2022 at 9:31 am

Posted in College/CWS

9 Responses to 'CWS 2022: Super Regional recap and CWS Preview'

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  1. Ivan Melendez is now up to 32 homers, slashing .319/.438/.603. Sonny DiChiara homered again last night for Auburn, was on base all four times up, OBP at .554. Please draft one or both of those guys, particularly now that the NL has joined the DH Beer League.

    In the CWS, I wonder whether there is benefit for teams that had tight games in the super regionals. In this case, that would be Arkansas and Auburn. Auburn got an incredible bullpen game on Saturday night as their starter was knocked out in the first inning.

    It’s pretty incredible that the SEC has four of the six (plus two more joining) WITHOUT them being #1 Tennessee and traditional powers FLA, LSU, and Vandy. South Carolina, Mississippi State, and Alabama also have strong baseball traditions. That’s a seriously packed conference.

    Tennessee had been 49-0 in games that it led after six innings . . . until it reached an elimination game . . .


    14 Jun 22 at 10:40 am

  2. Oops, those stats don’t cover DiChiara for last night. I think he is at .560 OBP now, in the SEC.


    14 Jun 22 at 10:42 am

  3. Yeah, there’s definitely a couple of sluggers in this CWS and in the draft; Melendez and DiCiara.

    Many teams value defensive flexibility, even with us going to DH. Look at our struggles with Drew Mendoza.

    Todd Boss

    14 Jun 22 at 3:02 pm

  4. The MLB game really has become about big power. But no one has really figured out a good method to find the next Pete Alonso, or even Josh Bell. Most college sluggers seem to turn into Drew Mendoza in the pros, not Pete Alonso.

    Maybe the trick is to start drafting several of them. After all, the Nats seem content on drafting a million arms to find just a few, so why not sluggers? I would love it if they took Melendez in the 3d and DiChiara in the 5th. Maybe they don’t pan out, but how many of their 3d and 5th-round picks have anyway? I’m intrigued by Will Frizzell, who they took last year. He’s on the FCL roster but hasn’t played, so I assume that he’s been dinged.

    And on the off chance, what happens if they do pan out? If you end up with two 40-homer guys on the same squad? Would you rather take a chance on that in the 5th round, or some college pitcher with a 92 mph heater?


    14 Jun 22 at 3:39 pm

  5. Todd Boss

    15 Jun 22 at 12:36 pm

  6. The Johnson clip is amazing. There aren’t a lot of major leaguers who can do that, even in BP. I had some doubts about his power because of his size, but not anymore. A lot of teams are going to regret passing on him. With a hit tool like his, he may beat several of the college hitters to the majors. Johnson will be in the majors before Green is in AA.

    In this and other clips I’ve seen, Parada has a weird setup, as discussed in this article. He only goes into a proper hitting stance as the pitcher winds. It seems to work for him, although one suspects that pro coaches will try to get him into a quieter setup.


    15 Jun 22 at 3:02 pm

  7. So in the 4th round of the 2020 draft, the Braves took Spencer Strider and signed him for less than the Nats paid the great Holden Powell (who has barely pitched) and less than half of what they paid Sammy Infante (striking out a ton in A ball). And Strider is in the majors throwing 101 and no-hitting the local nine so far, well before Cavalli and Henry have arrived. Sigh. So much for the Nats being an organization that “knows pitching” . . .


    15 Jun 22 at 8:42 pm


    Keith Law’s draft board (not a mock) has the following names as the top: Jones, Collier, Johnson, Green, Lee, Holliday, Parada.

    Collier hasn’t been at the top of ANY of these mocks; he’s a very, very young guy who did the Harper route of bailing on HS to go to Juco and compete and more than held his own. I wonder if the Nats are looking at him since he’s accomplished so much at such a young age (won’t turn 18 til November).

    But, on the other hand, out of this list of 7 guys only two are college players. If the team is thinking “fast turnaround” rebuild they may want a college guy not a 17yr old. But that didn’t stop them from taking House, who seems to be doing a-ok so far.

    Todd Boss

    16 Jun 22 at 9:29 am

  9. Todd Boss

    16 Jun 22 at 10:39 am

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