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2018 CWS Super-Regionals recap, CWS field and predictions

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(Just realized I forgot to post this earlier this week!  CWS started yesterday; this is a recap of the super regionals with predictions and key names to watch in the CWS).

Here’s a recap of our CWS coverage so far for 2018:


CWS Super Regionals were played this past weekend.

Super Regional Recaps:  I’ve got these ordered by they way they’ll be playing into the CWS field (i.e. by bracket, with former Natioanl seeds 1,8,5,4 in the top and 6,3,7,2 in the bottom).  And this is the order they’re listed on d1baseball’s Tourney Central, the quickest way to find results.

  • #1 Florida vs Auburn: Brady Singer overcame a leg injury in the first to throw a quality start while his offense spoiled Casey Mize‘s likely final collegiate start to get Game 1.  In game 2, Auburn could do nothing with Jackson Kowar, but got two runs late including a walk-off in the 9th to force a decided against Florida’s closer.   The two teams played a classic 3rd game, with Florida eventually advancing on a walk-off homer in the 11th to advance to Omaha for the fourth year in a row.
  • Duke vs #9 Texas Tech:  Texas Tech got the first game 6-4.   Duke pounded them 11-2 to force the decider.  There, Texas Tech won 6-2 to advance.
  • #5 Arkansas vs South Carolina: Arkansas showed why they’re a tough out, with their offense lighting up in a game one win 9-3.  Nats 10th rounder Carson Shaddy was a huge factor here, hitting a bases-clearing double in the 7th to break open the game.  In game 2, South Carolina got a solid start from Reservoir HS grad Cody Morris to force the deciding 3rd game (Note: Shaddy again had a solid game for Arkansas, and our 15th rounder Evan Lee got into the game as a match-up lefty for one batter).  In the decider, Arkansas jumped on South Carolina early and cruised 14-4 to earn a trip to Omaha.  Shaddy had another huge game with 3 RBIs.
  • Tennessee Tech vs #13 Texas: Tennessee Tech upset Texas 5-4 in the opener.  Texas won game two 4-2 to force a deciding third game.  There, Texas took the series against pesky Tennessee Tech to advance.
  • #3 Oregon State vs #14 Minnesota: OSU continued their dominant post-season by beating Minnesota 8-1 in the first game behind nearly a CG from OSU ace and lightening rod Luke Heimlich.  They had to work a bit harder in game 2, but Oregon State still advanced to their 2nd straight CWS 6-3.
  • #6 UNC vs #11 Stetson: UNC got to Stetson 1st rounder Logan Gilbert, putting 4 runs on him in 5 innings and holding on for the game 1 victory.  UNC made quick work of Stetson in Game 2 to advance to the CWS.
  • Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt: In a game dominated by poor pitching and errors, Mississippi State’s junior undrafted outfielder Elijah Macnamee hit a walk-off 2-run homer to take game one.  Vanderbilt scored 3 runs late, including a walk-off homer in the 9th, to take game 2; our two Vandy picks Reid Schaller and Chandler Day got the hold and the win by pitching the 8th and 9th in this gameMississippi State took game 3, getting a couple runs off of Day’s long-relief effort but exploding for four runs in the 11th to advance.
  • Cal State Fullerton vs Washington: UWash got to CSF starter Colton Eastman in the 7th, and put enough runs on the board to make the lead stick in game 1.  Fullerton got revenge in game two 5-2 and forced the decider.  There though, Washington won in extra innings to advance to their first ever CWS.

My CWS Predictions: Florida, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Texas on one side, Oregon State, Stetson, Vanderbilt, Cal-State Fullerton on the other.

Actuals: Florida, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Texas on the top, Oregon State, UNC, Mississippi State, Washington on the bottom.

I got the whole upper bracket right, whiffed on most of the lower bracket.

 


CWS Field and Profiles

Top Bracket:

  • #1 Florida: 47-19 overall, 20-10 in the SEC.  1st place SEC-East regular season.
  • #9 Texas Tech: 44-18 overall, 15-9 in Big-12.  3rd place Big-12 regular season.
  • #5 Arkansas; 43-19 overall, 18-12 in the SEC.  2nd place SEC-West regular season.
  • #13 Texas: 42-21 overall, 17-7 in Big-12.  1st place Big-12 regular season.

Bottom Bracket

  • #3 Oregon State: 49-10-1, 20-9-1 in the Pac-12.   2nd place, Pac-12 regular season.
  • #6 UNC: 43-18 overall, 22-8 in the ACC.  1st Place ACC-Coastal division regular season.
  • Mississippi State; 37-27 overall, 15-15 in the SEC.  5th Place, SEC-West division regular season.
  • Washington: 35-24 overall, 20-10 in the Pac-12

CWS field review by the numbers

  • SEC: 3 teams
  • Pac12: 2 team
  • ACC: 1 teams
  • Big12: 2 teams
  • National top 8 Seeds: 3
  • Regional Hosts (i.e. top 16 seeds): 6
  • First time programs: 1 (Washington)

CWS Field thoughts

An interesting field.   The entire bottom half of the tourney was decided before any of the upper half, as six of the eight super-regionals went the full 3 games.  At first glance, its easy to predict the two best teams here (Florida and Oregon State).  But its hard to not see what Mississippi State has done lately.  They finished 15-15 in SEC play … but that included them sweeping both Arkansas and Florida late just to get their league record up to .500.  They’re incredibly hot, just flipped the script on Vanderbilt, and is not a team i’d want to mess with right now.  The upper bracket has more seeds, but the lower bracket might be a tougher road for the favorite Oregon State.

Florida beat Arkansas 2 of 3 in their season series, but it was in Florida.  On a neutral field its hard to say who might win.  In the bottom , Oregon State will open with conference rival Washington, who they took 2 of 3 against (again at home).   Its hard to see a Texas-Texas Tech rematch but if they do meet, Texas took 2/3 on Texas Tech’s field and should be slightly favored on a neutral field.

Quick predictions:

Final: Oregon State over Florida.

Player Star power in this CWS: By team, here’s the top-end draft talents

  • Florida features top picks Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Jonathan India
  • Texas Tech’s top pick was a Supplemental 2nd rounder Grant Little.
  • Arkansas had three upper round picks: 3rd rounder Blaine Knight, 4th rounder Eric Cole and 5th round C Grant Koch.
  • Texas’ highest draft pick is the son of Roger ClemensKody Clemens, drafted in the 3rd round.  Also features role player Andy McGuire, from Madison HS in Vienna, drafted in the 28th round.
  • Oregon State features Nick Madrigal (#4 overall), plus 1st-day picks Trevor Larnach and Cayden Grenier, as well as the controversial 1st round talent Luke Heimlich.
  • UNC had just one top 10 round pick, RHP 6th rounder Rodney Hutchinson.
  • Mississippi State’s ace Konner Plikington slipped to the 3rd round.
  • Washington had and 8th rounder A.J. Graffiano and a 9th rounder Willie MacIver.

Nats 2018 Draftees in the CWS: thanks to the Nats strategy of drafting only College players, they drafted a ton of guys who are playing in Omaha.  By team:

  • #5 Arkansas features 10th rounder Carson Shaddy, the Arkansas starting 2B as well as our 15th rounder Evan Lee, a role-player on the team this year.  Shaddy had a massive super-Regional at the plate and will look to continue in the CWS.

College CWS tournament references:

Nats 2018 Draft Class; Highlights of picks 11-40 and overall class review

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Another  year in the books, and another 40 guys now potentially part of the Nats organization.  Ok well really more like 32-33 new guys; that’s about how many i’d expect to sign out of this class.

We reviewed the top 10 more in-depth in the previous post since, historically, the most likely eventual MLB impact players are all top-end draft picks.  Lets zip through the rest of the draft and do some quick commentary.

  • Round 11: Frankie Bartow, U Miami’s closer.  I like this as an 11th rounder, which in today’s draft system are the first time you can grab someone of note and have a decent shot at them.  Bartow has some career accolades (freshman all-american, finalist for collegiate closer of the year, etc).  Yes he’s a college closer and that’s all he’ll be, but I like this as an 11th rounder.
  • Round 12: Graham Lawson, also an 8th/9th inning guy for South Carolina.  Not as accomplished as Bartow, but similar role.
  • Round 13: Cody Wilson, a corner OF from FAU.  Good power this year (14 homers), good speed (nearly 20 SBs).  Not a bad 12th rounder.   College Junior though so he has some leverage but it doesn’t seem like he slipped really.
  • Round 14: Aaron Fletcher.  a Senior lefty starter from U Houston.  Um, this was Houston’s Friday starter, who pitched a 4-hit, 0 earned run gem in the CWS regional opener to beat Purdue.   Why wasn’t he picked up already?  College numbers look great for a good team in a decent conference, conference pitcher of the year in 2018.  Perhaps its because he doesn’t have massive K/9 numbers.  Nonetheless, I like this pick.
  • Round 15: Evan Lee, a two-way draft eligible sophomore player for Arkansas.  Lefty reliever and a corner OF.  This is a weird one; he doesn’t have great numbers on either side of the ball, but he was an absolute beast coming out of HS (all-american on every service, Gatorade player of the state, etc).  I wonder if this is an over slot candidate.
  • Round 16: Carson Teel, College Jr lefty starter from Oklahoma State.  Entered the weekend rotation mid-season, gave them 11 starts, including getting the Win over USF in last weekend’s regional.  Decent numbers on the season skewed by one bad outing against West Virginia.  Another value pick.
  • Round 17: Ridge Chapman, coll JR mid-week starter for South Carolina; looks like a guy with some inflation in his stats; his BAA is .189 on the year but his ERA is 4.95.   He’s a Juco transfer into South Carolina and his Juco numbers were pretty impressive; perhaps an area scout remembered him from 2017 (when he was drafted late but chose not to sign).
  • Round 18: Jacob Rhinesmith, Coll Jr center fielder from Western Kentucky (which, i’d like to point out, has completely ripped off the Nats Curly-W on their uniforms…).  14  homers, 13 SBs as a center fielder?  Another Juco transfer with very gaudy 2017 numbers.  Listed as 6’1″ 195, lefty.  Maybe he sticks in center?
  • Round 19: Zach Linginfelter, RHP coll Sophomore from Tennessee.  Was in relief most of the season, then put into the rotation towards the end of the year.  Pitched well in the SEC tourney.
  • Round 20: Onix Vega, a Juco C from Broward College.  Gotta have catchers for your short season teams.

Past Round 20, I’ll just note interesting guys; see the table above for the next 20 picks fully.  From here down honestly most guys are just one-and-done short-season players.

  • Round 21: Ryan Tapani, 5th year Sr RHP from Creighton.  Looks like Creighton’s Friday starter with pretty gaudy numbers (10-1, 2.38 ERA on the year).  Just named 3rd team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.  Son of former MLB player Kevin Tapani, a former pitcher who had more than 350 major league starts in a 13 year career. Nice 21st rounder senior sign.
  • Round 26: Colin Morse, a senior RHP from Shenandoah University by way of … McLean HS.  A local kid.  He seemed like a weekend starter for Shenandoah the last three  years, and he had starts in all four years of his career.
  • Round 30 Trey Vickers, senior SS from Wichita State.  Basically a four year starter at SS for a good baseball program.  Not flashy, but I like the career accomplishment for a higher profile program.
  • Two late round picks (Rounds 34 and 40 picks Tyler Baca and Michael Menhart both seem to be related to Nationals front-office staff (respectively,  Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Baca and Pitching Coordinator Paul Menhart).
  • Round 37 pick Cole Wilcox is an interesting throw-away pick; he was projected as a 1st rounder prior to the draft and was even tied to the Nats in some mocks, but he had a $3M price tag and so once he fell out of the 1st round he was guaranteed to go to school.  He announced his intent to honor his commitment to University of Georgia even before the Nats picked him, where he’ll be a draft eligible sophomore in two years’ time.

Its notable that every single pick the Nats had between rounds 25 and 32 (8 straight rounds) were College seniors.  And then, they ripped of five straight HS draftees from rounds 33-37, including a guy who was projected to go in the first round (Wilcox) in the 37th.   It is almost as if the team got to round 33 and was like, “eh, we’re good, pick a bunch of prep kids as favors to executives or who we have no chance of signing.”

Summary of the Draft class:

  • 23 Arms, 18 Position players, which adds up to 41 since we have a 2-way guy in Evan Lee.
  • 16 College Juniors (or draft-eligible Sophomores)
  • 14 College Seniors with no leverage
  • 3 Juco guys
  • 7 High Schoolers, 6 of which are basically throw-away picks in the late rounds.

Of the 30 4-year college guys:

  • 8 from SEC teams
  • 1 from Pac12 teams
  • 2 from ACC teams
  • 1 from Big10 teams
  • 2 from Big12 teams
  • 5 from non-major conference but still big-time Baseball programs (FAU, Houston, Sam Houston State, UConn, Wichita State)
  • 11 from smaller/non division 1 programs

Not surprisingly, a huge take from the SEC, which proved this year they’re unrivaled in terms of college baseball power.

Geographic Locations of picks:

  • 6 from Florida, 4 from Georgia
  • 4 from California, another 2 from Arizona
  • 4 From Texas, another 2 from Oklahoma and 2 from Arkansas
  • 3 from Tennessee, 2 from South Carolina and 2 from Kentucky
  • 5 from the Midwest (Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska)
  • 4 from random remaining states: one each from Connecticut, Wisconsin, Oregon and Virginia.

that’s 36 of the 40 picks from these 5 general areas.  We know that Florida, Georgia and California are the three heaviest areas for providing baseball talent, but normally we see a big focus in the Texas/Oklahoma area with our drafts.  Not this year; one quarter came from the two southeastern states this year.


 

Here’s a table with all 40 picks.

RoundOverallNamePositionCol/HSCollege or CmtmState
127Denaburg, MasonRHP (Str)HSFloridaFL
265Cate, TimLHP (Str)Coll JrUconnCT
3101Schaller, ReidRHP (Rel)Coll SoVanderbiltTN
4131Irvin, JakeRHP (Str)Coll JrOklahomaOK
5161Canning, GageOFColl JrArizona StateAZ
6191Karp, AndrewRHP (Str)Coll SrFlorida StateFL
7221Day, ChandlerRHP (Rel)Coll JrVanderbiltTN
8251Cropley, TylerCColl SrIowaIA
9281Driskill, TannerRHP (Str)Coll SrLamarTX
10311Shaddy, Carson2BColl SrArkansasAR
11341Bartow, FrankieRHP (Rel)Coll JrMiamiFL
12371Lawson, GrahamRHP (Rel)Coll JrSouth CarolinaSC
13401Wilson, CodyOF (Corner)Coll JrFlorida Atlantic UFL
14431Fletcher, AaronLHP (Str)Coll SrHoustonTX
15461Lee, EvanLHP (rel)/OFColl SoArkansasAR
16491Teel, CarsonLHP (Str)Coll JrOklahoma StateOK
17521Chapman, RidgeRHP (Str)Coll JrSouth CarolinaSC
18551Rhinesmith, JacobOF (CF)Coll JrWestern KentuckyKY
19581Linginfelter, ZachRHP (rel)Coll SoTennesseeTN
20611Vega, OnixCJC J1Broward CollegeFL
21641Tapani, RyanRHP (Str)Coll SrCreightonNB
22671Daily, ColeSSColl JrNotre DameIN
23701Hamilton, ColeCJC J1Linn Benton CCOR
24731Marinconz, KyleSSColl JrCal Poly San Luis ObispoCA
25761Vann, ChrisLHP (Str)Coll SrMercerGA
26791Morse, ColinRHP (Str)Coll SrShenandoah VA
27821O'Connor, Pablo2BColl SrAzusa Pacific UniversityCA
28851Chisolm, Blake1BColl SrSam Houston StateTX
29881Pogue, ColtonSSColl SrPittsburg State UKS
30911Vickers, TreySSColl SrWichita StateKS
31941Quintana, JonathanOFColl SrBarry UFL
32971Maley, AlecRHP (Str)Coll SrKentuckyKY
331001Haney, JackCHSCedartown HSGA
341031Baca, TylerOFHSThe Linfield School (CA)CA
351061Binelas, Alex1BHSOak Creek HS (WI)WI
361091Blessie, BoRHPHSRobert E Lee HS (TX)TX
371121Wilcox, ColeRHPHSHeritage HS (GA)GA
381151Milacki, BobbyRHPColl JrArizona Christian UAZ
391181Nardi, AndrewLHPJC J2Moorpark Col (CA)CA
401211Menhart, MichaelRHPHSRichmond Hill HSGA