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Archive for June, 2021

2021 CWS Super Regionals Recap and CWS Field set

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  • #1 Arkansas vs NC State: Arkansas destroyed NC State in game one 21-2. That’s a beat-down. NC State rebounded to force game 3, where they shocked the nation’s #1 team to advance as an unseeded team to Omaha.
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Stanford: Stanford shocked the host Texas Tech team 15-3 in game one, then blanked them in game two 9-0 for a dominant super regional win on the road.
  • #5 Arizona vs #12 Ole Miss: Arizona with relative ease in game one, and Ole Miss trounced them in game two to force the tiebreaker. Arizona rebounded again in game 3, with a 16-3 destruction to punch their ticket to Omaha.
  • #4 Vanderbilt vs #13 East Carolina: Vandy’s two aces dominated ECU, giving up just one run between them, and Vanderbilt advances to the CWS with ease.
  • #3 Tennessee vs LSU: Tennessee held serve in game 1 and handled LSU in game two with ease to move to the finals as a big favorite.
  • Dallas Baptist vs UVA: DBU with the close one in game 1, getting to UVA ace Andrew Abbott and holding on for the win. UVA blanked the Patriots in game two behind 7 2-hit innings from Griff McGarry (who sported an ERA north of 6.00 on the season) to force the Monday tie-breaker. In the breaker, UVA’s freshman Nate Savino struggled early, was replaced by middle reliever Matt Wyatt, who shut down DBU for the rest of the game, setting the stage for a clutch 7th inning Grand Slam from Kyle Teel, their best hitter on the season, to move them to Omaha.
  • #7 Mississippi State vs #10 Notre Dame: Miss State outslugged ND in game one 9-8. Notre Dame blasted the SEC team 9-1 to force the Monday tie-breaker. There, Notre Dame just couldn’t score enough to overcome their own pitching and lost 11-7.
  • #2 Texas vs South Florida: Texas won a close game 1 and blew out the cinderella team in game 2 to advance to Omaha.

Super Regional predictions: Arkansas, Texas Tech, Arizona, Vandy, Tenn, UVA, Notre Dame, Texas.

Super Regional actuals: NC State, Stanford, Arizona, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, UVA, Mississippi State, Texas. Prediction went just 5 for 8 in the super regionals.

CWS field: 

top half: NC State, #9 Stanford, #5 Arizona, #4 Vanderbilt

bottom half: #3 Tennessee, UVA, #7 Mississippi State and #2 Texas

Despite losing the #1 overall seed, Omaha is pretty stacked, with 5 of the best 8 teams in the land, plus #9 Stanford who dominated the #8 seed to move on.  We’re about to see some really good baseball.

Star Power in the CWS:

  • Vanderbilt: Leiter and Rocker, both likely going top 5 of the 2021 draft in a few weeks time, continue to show why Vandy is the team to beat.
  • Texas: Ty Madden, their Ace, continues on and might be in the mix for the Nats pick at #11.
  • UVA: Zach Gelof, Andrew Abbott, Mike Vasil: all likely 2nd day picks.
  • Mississippi State: Wil Bednar, Christian MacLeod, two solid arms.

Predictions? 

  • In the top-half: It is hard not to look at the way Vanderbilt’s two aces can dominate even a top offensive team like ECU and not just pencil them in for wins.  Look for Vanderbilt to win the first two games of their CWS bracket, then wait in the final.  Stanford took 2 of 3 versus Arizona at home in May, but the friday night game was a 13-inning affair that saw both teams’ aces give up runs, so its hard to predict who might come out of the loser’s bracket, but i like Arizona to challenge Vandy but ultimately lose.
  • In the bottom half…#3 Tennessee is my favorite here, despite being the slight underdog to #2 Texas. D1Baseball has Tennessee above Texas in their rankings, and I wonder if Texas will save their ace for game 2 as a result. Tennessee will start with UVA, while Texas will start with Mississippi State. I like the top 2 seeds to move on, with Tennessee eventually advancing out of the group.

This would leave a CWS final of Vandy vs Tennessee, a rematch of a mid-April 3-game series at Tennessee where Vandy won 2 of 3, beating Leiter in the saturday game. Still thinking Vandy takes this.

Written by Todd Boss

June 15th, 2021 at 11:32 am

Posted in College/CWS

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2021 CWS Regional Results, Super Regional Pairings

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So, something happened with my blog hosting provider and I believe they lost some prior posts. I can no longer see my 2021 CWS regional prediction piece. I suspect a hosting failure. Nonetheless, here’s a recap of the 16 regionals.


Quick Regional Recaps

We’ll review the 16 regionals in order of the larger bracket.  Bold is the host/seed.

#1 Arkansas regional recap: #1 seed got a scare from Nebraska, got extended to the 7th game but advanced.

#16: Louisiana Tech regional recap: host La Tech scored a lot .. but also let NC State score a lot too and the ACC team advances.

#8: Texas Tech regional recap: Texas Tech managed to beat each of the 3 teams in its region to advance without much fuss.

#9: Stanford regional recap: UC Irvine extended the Cardinal, but Stanford prevailed.

#5 Arizona regional recap: Arizona handled #3 seeded UC Santa Barbara to advance without a loss.

#12 Ole Miss regional recap: Ole Miss got pushed by its in-state rival Southern Miss, but won out the 7th game.

#4 Vanderbilt regional recap: Vandy’s two aces provided the first two wins, and they dug deep to take out Georgia Tech in the regional final.

#13 ECU regional recap: East Carolina held serve over a plucky Maryland team to win.

#3 Tennessee regional recap: Tennessee outlasted local favorite Liberty, who blasted ACC champ Duke en route to the final.

#14 Oregon regional recap: Host Oregon could not stop LSU from fulfilling its destiny; they came out of the loser’s bracket to bash their way to the super regionals.

#6 TCU regional recap: TCU got knocked out by perennial power house Oregon State, but it was regional power Dallas Baptist who advanced.

#11 ODU regional recap: A crazy weather weekend featured the #1 seeded ODU taking out the host South Carolina, but UVA fighting out of the loser’s bracket to force the extra game, which got pushed to Tuesday morning. there, UVA walked off the win in extra innings to advance.

#7 Mississippi State regional recap: cruised to a 3-game regional win.

#10 Notre Dame regional recap: Notre Dame bashed their way to the super regional, scoring 50 (fifty!) runs in 3 games to win what looks like easily the weakest regional.

#15 Florida regional recap: powerhouse program Florida absolutely did not show up at their regional, going 2 and out as a national seed and losing their 2nd game 19-1. South Florida, the #4 seed in the group, takes out upstart South Alabama to advance in a shock.

#2 Texas regional recap: Texas destroyed all three teams in their regioanl, advancing by a combined score of 33-5 to move on.


Predictions versus Actuals:

  • Predicted: Arkansas, Alabama, Texas Tech, Stanford, Arizona, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, ECU, Tennessee, LSU, TCU, UVA, Miss State, Notre Dame, Florida Texas.
  • Actual: Arkansas, NC State, Texas Tech, Stanford, Arizona, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, ECU, Tennessee, LSU, Dallas Baptist, UVA, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, South Florida, Texas

So I got 13 out of 16 right. Missed on Alabama, TCU, Florida.



Summary of Regionals statistically:

  • 11 of 16  hosts advanced. 
  • Just 1 of the 8 national seeds fell (#6 TCU)
  • 4 of the 9-16 seeds fell: La Tech, Oregon, Florida, ODU
  • 11 number one seeds, 1 number two seeds, 3 number three seeds, and 1 number four seeds advance to the super regionals.
  • 4 number of #4 seeds who didn’t finish 4th in their regional; NJIT, South Florida, Central Michigan, North Dakota State
  • 1: number of #4 seeds to get opening wins.  only South Florida
  • Most surprising regional winner: South Florida, obviously. Amazing when a #4 seed advances.
  • # of “extended” regionals: 7 of the 16 went to the last game.

Conference Breakdowns of the teams in the Super Regionals:

  • SEC: Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State,
  • ACC: NC State, Notre Dame, UVA
  • Big12: Texas Tech, Texas,
  • Pac12: Stanford, Arizona
  • Big 10: zero
  • Others: East Carolina (AAC), Dallas Baptist (MVC), South Florida (AAC)

Very top heavy; SEC gets 6 of the 16 super regionalists. The rest of the top baseball conferences each get 2-3 teams as one might expect.


Super Regional Matchups:  the higher ranked team is the host unless otherwise noted.

  • #1 Arkansas vs NC State
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Stanford
  • #5 Arizona vs #12 Ole Miss
  • #4 Vanderbilt vs #13 East Carolina
  • #3 Tennessee vs LSU
  • Dallas Baptist vs UVA
  • #7 Mississippi State vs #10 Notre Dame
  • #2 Texas vs South Florida

Super Regional Thoughts/Predictions

  • #1 Arkansas vs NC State; Arkansas is just too powerful and won’t be stopped.
  • #8 Texas Tech vs #9 Stanford: I think Texas Tech is the favorite here.
  • #5 Arizona vs #12 Ole Miss; a tough one to predict; Arizona looked a bit better in their regional.
  • #4 Vanderbilt vs #13 East Carolina; Vandy not getting stopped in a super regional where they have the clear pitching advantage.
  • #3 Tennessee vs LSU; LSU was swept at Tennessee earlier this year; it seems like that may happen again. LSU’s cinderella season ends.
  • Dallas Baptist vs UVA: So, neither team put in a bid to host, so neither team could get a home field advantage; the Super Regional is being played on the campus of South Carolina, as was the ODU regional earlier. I think UVA has the advantage here.
  • #7 Mississippi State vs #10 Notre Dame; I like what Notre Dame does at the plate and pick them to advance.
  • #2 Texas vs South Florida: Texas looks way too strong.

CWS field predictions: Arkansas, TT, AZ, Vandy, Tenn, UVA, Notre Dame, Texas.


CWS Predictions: Early CWS final prediction:  I like Arkansas over Vanderbilt and have for a while. But both are projecting to the same bracket in Omaha. So i’m going with Vandy vs Texas with Vandy winning.


Star Power at Super Regionals

Here’s a quick glance at the top draft picks that are still alive in the Super Regionals:

  • Vanderbilt: Leiter and Rocker, both likely going top 5
  • Texas: Ty Madden, their Ace
  • Ole Miss: Gunnar Hogeland, their Ace
  • NC State: Luca Tresh, a likely 2nd round Catcher, Jose Torres their SS.
  • UVA: Zach Gelof, Andrew Abbott, Mike Vasil: all likely 2nd day picks.
  • Mississippi State: Wil Bednar, Christian MacLeod, two solid arms.
  • Arkansas: Christian Franklin, OF.
  • East Carolina: Gavin Williams, RHP
  • LSU: Landon Marceaux their new ace, but Jaden Hill was their friday night guy who went down with TJ and may still go first round.

College CWS tournament references:

Written by Todd Boss

June 8th, 2021 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Nats in General

2021 Draft Coverage: Mock Draft Mania and current draft trends

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Jack Leiter has been in 1-1 consideration forever. Photo via sportsnet

We’re starting to get into draft season!

Here’s my current collection of Mock Drafts from leading pundits.  We usually see the first crazy-early mock just after the 2020 drafts, then again after the end of the 2020 season when the draft order is more or less determined, then it really starts to heat up in May.  Thanks to the draft moving back to July/All Star break, we will get a whole new batch as players finish up college seasons and start wood bat leagues/show cases.

I’ll keep adding to this list as Mocks come in and re-publish just before the draft with a final prediction.  In the mean time …


Here’s the Mock draft collection.  I’ve generally listed their top-5 and then who they project the Nats to take at #11 (if they project out that far).  this year I’m ordering them Chronologically as rec’d instead of grouping by pundit…. this should let us see kind of an evolution of the top of the draft.  Players are bolded the first time they’re mentioned, not again afterwards.

  • Baseball America (Carlos Collazo) Way too Early 2021 Mock, 6/12/20: Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter, Brady House, Adrian Del Castillo, Matt McLain
  • Prospects365 (Mason McRae) 2021 Mock draft v1.0 6/25/20: Rocker, Leiter, Jud FabianLuke Leto, McLain
  • Prospects365 (Mason McRae) 2021 Mock draft v2.0 9/4/20: Rocker, Fabian, Leiter, Del Castillo, Jaden Hill
  • Prospects365 (Ian Smith) 2021 Mock Draft 1.0 11/9/20: Rocker, Leiter, Jordan Lawlar, Hill, Fabian.  Nats take James Wood, prep OF from IMG Academy in Fla.
  • BA (Collazo) v1.0 Draft 1/4/21: (missed it)
  • BA (Collazo) v2.0 draft 3/29/21Jordan Lawlar, Rocker, Leiter, Marcello Mayer, Del Castillo.  Nats take House.
  • MLBPipeline (Callis/Mayo) Apr 2021 mock draft 4/26/21: Leiter, Lawlar, Rocker, Mayer, House.  Nats take Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Okla.).
  • BA (Collazo) v3.0 Mock draft 4/28/21: Leiter, Lawlar, Mayer, Rocker, House.  Nats also take Jobe.
  • MLBpipeline (Callis): May 2021 mock 5/6/21: Lawlar, Leiter, Mayer, Rocker, House.  Nats at 11 take Jobe.
  • CollegeBaseballDaily May 2021 mock 5/12/21: Rocker, Leiter, Lawlar, Kahlil Wilson, Mayer.
  • MLBpipeline (Mayo) May 2021 mock 5/20/21: Mayer, Lawlar, Davis, House, Leiter.  Nats take Ty Madden, RHP Friday night starter from UTexas.
  • BA (Collazo): v4.0 Mock Draft 5/24/21: Lawlar, Mayer, House, Leiter, Davis.  Nats take Jobe.
  • ESPN/McDaniel Mock 1.0 5/25/21: Lawlar, Leiter, Mayer, Rocker, Davis.  Nats take Jobe.

My thoughts on the top of the draft, based on what we’re seeing.

  • Three of the names that have been projected in the top 5 have been there since the beginning (Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter, Brady House).
  • Very early in the spring HS season, two prep HS short stops in Jordan Lawlar and Marcello Mayer started getting mentioned as top5 guys … and now several mocks are thinking they go 1-2.
  • Rocker and Leiter’s starts are hyper overanalyzed each week; Leiter missed a start and suddenly the next mock dumped him out of the top5.
  • I really like Leiter; if you’ve seen him pitch, he looks like he could be in a MLB rotation right now.  Rocker is impressive, but has been really inconsistent and I could see him slipping.
  • College catchers who can hit go high; see Adley RutschmannHenry Davis fits that boat and is a safe pick for a team that has been burned in the past by either a prep kid or a pitcher.  He’s going to go high.

My current prediction on the top5 (which excludes any bonus money shenanigan picks that we’re hearing Baltimore may pursue) would basically include the 5-6 names just high lighted here, in some order.

What about the Nats at 11?

Well, its pretty notable that a number of the Mock drafts all have the Nats taking the same kid: prep arm Jackson Jobe. Yes, another pitcher. And a HS one at that. Echos of the failure we saw in our ability to capitalize on Lucas Giolito, or the ridiculosly bad luck of the Mason Denaburg pick.

I’ve seen a couple outlier mocks here and there; i’ve seen Ty Madden mentioned (#2 Texas’ friday night starter) and Sam Bachman (Miami of Ohio’s big arm). Both are safer than a prep arm … but both also might be gone by #11 based on these projections. I’d like either honestly; i like college track records.

Notably … nobody has them on a bat. I know this will irritate some who read this (ahem KW), but there’s no point fighting it. If it wasn’t clear by now, this team focuses on pitchers in the draft and then uses them like currency to acquire bats later on. So, be prepared for another pitcher-heavy draft in July.

Written by Todd Boss

June 4th, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Draft

2021 CWS Field of 64 Review and Predictions

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Wow, it feels good to be back (somewhat) to normal. The 2021 College World Series field of 64 was announced over the weekend, which will feature 16 mini tournaments to determine who advances to the “Super Regionals” next weekend. This is a great, fun weekend of college baseball coming up, and there’s all sorts of local rooting interest and national draft interest in the field.

We had no 2020 event, and in 2019 I didn’t do a ton of coverage, so here we are. Lets review the field of 64, note some of the more interesting matchups, and make some predictions. I’ll list these in the order of their eventual Super Regional matchup (i.e. #1 national seed’s region then #16 national seed region, then #8/#9, etc).

#1 Arkansas, with Nebraska, Northeastern and NJIT. The #1 seed, which did not win its own conference, gets a very difficult #2 seed in Big12 champ Nebraska, who is ranked #42 in RPI. I’m not saying they’re going to lose, but certainly this is one of the more difficult #2 seeds. Prediction: Arkansas

#16: Louisiana Tech, who gets NC State, Alabama and Rider. Alabama as a #3 seed is kind of ridiculous; they played top 25 teams 22 times this year. They’re higher RPI than NC State. La Tech lost its conference championship but rocketed up the RPI rankings into a host, but I don’t think they can beat two solid down-division teams from ACC/SEC. Prediction: Alabama.

#8: Texas Tech, who gets UCLA, UNC and Army. Kind of a tough #2 seed for a national seed in UCLA, who got a number of top-25 wins this year. I smell a slight upset possibility here. Prediction: Texas Tech.

#9: Stanford, who gets UC Irvine, Nevada and North Dakota State. Stanford had a very solid season, and UC Irvine is the kind of random California team that excels only in baseball and can give the blue bloods fits, but not this year. I like Stanford here.

#5 Arizona, who gets Oklahoma State, UC Santa Barbara and Grand Canyon. Oklahoma State is quite high in RPI, but sports a pretty poor record against top25. This will be an interesting show-me series between two solid teams in the top secondary divisions in the sport. I also like the secondary story of GCU, which is the sole for-profit Division 1 team in the country and who has had spats with other Pac12 members publicly about whether they were even eligible to compete. I like Arizona to move on.

#12 Ole Miss gets Southern Miss, Florida State and Southeast Missouri State. A very talented top 3 here, all with pedigree and top-25 history. I have no reason to doubt the SEC team Ole Miss moves on, especially at home.

#4 Vanderbilt gets Georgia Tech, Indiana State and Presbyterian. I’m still not quite sure how Vandy ever loses, with its two top starters (Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter) both projected to go in the top 5 of the draft and a slew of other talented players in the lineup. They get a gift of a regional, with Ga Tech down in the 40s in terms of RPI.

#13 ECU headlines a local-favorite filled regional that includes Charlotte, Maryland and MEAC champ Norfolk State. ECU isn’t quite as good as they have been in the past but was a top25 regular this year and should move on.

#3 Tennessee gets an interesting draw in ACC champ Duke, local favorite Liberty and Wright State. It isn’t often that the ACC champ isn’t a regional host, but Duke didn’t really merit it during a down year for the ACC. Liberty has done some damage this year locally, but won’t be able to take down the national power Tennessee.

#14 Oregon hosts Gonzaga, LSU and Central Connecticut. LSU was a pre-season favorite to fight for the title before losing their friday starter (Jaden Hill) to TJ surgery. They survived an awful start to the season to qualify and I think they’re a dark horse. I think Oregon is weak this year, and Gonzaga is a geographic-based seed to save on travel dollars. LSU to advance.

#6 TCU gets a tough regional for its troubles, with Oregon State, Dallas Baptist and McNeese State. Dallas Baptist isn’t as good as they have been recently, but did win their conference… as did Lake Charles’ McNeese State, who led the way in a sneaky good baseball conference and could make some noise. Hard to bet against the powerhouse TCU, but this regional may be tough.

#11 ODU, for being a top 10 team this year, somehow doesn’t get the honor to host and has to travel to South Carolina to compete in a regional where they’re the #1 seed. They’re joined by UVA and Jacksonville as perhaps the best #4 seed in the tourney as the Atlantic Sun champ. Tough break for ODU, who I think falls to South Carolina. UVA makes the tournament in a down year, but just doesn’t have the bats to compete.

#7 Mississippi State gets VCU, Campbell and Stamford in a relatively easy regional.

#10 ACC Champ Notre Dame, hardly a baseball power, gets UConn, Michigan and Central Michigan in a regional that seems designed to ensure a cold weather team makes it to next weekend. UConn normally is solid but is down this year, so Notre Dame (who got shellacked in the ACC tournament by UVA) moves on.

#15 Florida gets a very “Florida” regional, with South Alabama, long-time rival Miami and South Florida in their regional. I can see a Florida-Miami winner’s bracket final, but otherwise see no reason to doubt Florida moving on.

#2 Texas, who is overseeded by a handful, nonetheless gets a very easy regional with Arizona State, Fairfield and Southern. Interestingly, Fairfield is the #2 team in the nation in RPI, having gone 37-3 this year, albeit with no games against anyone in the top 50.


So, i’m going mostly chalk, with a couple of upsets. We’ll see how it plays out. Games start friday at Noon!

Written by Todd Boss

June 1st, 2021 at 3:48 pm

Posted in College/CWS

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