Nationals Arm Race

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

CWS 2022 Field of 64 announced; Local team preview


Its College Baseball post-season time, something we’ve followed in this space for years. Here’s a quick guide to the CWS 2022 post season.

First off, some resources for you.

Your top 8 seeds and favorites to make Omaha, in order:

  1. Tennessee (RPI = 1)
  2. Stanford (3)
  3. Oregon State (2)
  4. Virginia Tech (5)
  5. Texas A&M (22)
  6. Miami (15)
  7. Oklahoma State (10)
  8. ECU (8)

You can see that the committee stayed pretty true to RPI for the top 4 seeds, then clearly deviated from the RPIs for the rest of the top 8, which is going to leave some of these teams facing really difficult #2 seeds in their regioanls coming up. Here’s the rest of the top 10 by RPI and who they’re facing:

  • 4. UNC: hosting a regional but as the #10 national seed
  • 6. Wake Forest: not even a host, goes to Maryland as that region’s #2 seed
  • 7. Vanderbilt, this high due to #1 Strength of Schedule, goes to Oregon State as that region’s #2 seed.
  • 9. Maryland, who spent most of the season in the top 10 of the rankings, gets dropped to a #15 seed in the tournament and has to face Vanderbilt, who’s actually got a higher RPI.

So, this is going to lead us to some very, very good regionals and a ton of upsets. Here’s some comments on all our DC/MD/VA local teams in the tourney:

  • Virginia Tech: as noted, #4 national seed, has been ranked as high as #3 this year, strong RPI, dominated in the ACC (which was every bit as good as the SEC this year). For their troubles they get a very, very easy regional, with #2 Gonzaga coming west-to-east and only ranked #27 by RPI, the Ivy league champ Columbia, and Wright State. Couldn’t ask for a better regional.
  • Maryland: #15 National seed and given the #6 RPI team in Wake Forest coming out of a far better conference as their #2 seed. Apologies Terps fans; you’re likely losing this regional on home soil. I suppose the recent Lacrosse national championship makes up for it.
  • Liberty gets the #3 regional seed as an at-large in the UFlorida region, an interesting matchup for them since they went to Florida to open the season and won 2 of 3. They have to contend though with Oklahoma first, a very good Big12 team that nearly made a case to host itself. Probably the hardest regional
  • VCU won their conference, and get to head to UNC as that regional’s #3 seed. Uphil climb here, since UNC is better than their #10 national seed indicates.
  • Virginia entered the ACC tourney looking like a top 16 seed/regional host, but got blown out by Louisville to end any chance; that loss dumped their RPI down to #24 and now they’re the #2 seed in East Carolina’s regional. Which isn’t bad: ECU’s got a great RPI (#8) but they’re from a weaker conference and were just 2-7 against top 50 RPI teams all year. UVA has to really like their chances in this regional.

Other local teams who we thought had a chance: Old Dominion was one of the last teams cut, coming in at #40 on the RPI but who really needed to win their weaker conference to get in. The next best team in the area to not make the cut was William & Mary, with an RPI of #84 and who clearly needed to win the Colonial to make it.

Quick predictions for the 16 regionals, ordered by National Seed super Regional matchup

  • #1 Tennessee will get a challenge from ACC’s Georgia Tech, but should advance.
  • #16 Georgia Southern gets Notre Dame, the ACC finalist and a complete snub for hosting, along with tough Big12 team Texas Tech. A dogfight of a regional here.
  • #8 ECU as mentioned has UVA in its region and I think gets upset.
  • #9 Texas gets an intriguing #3 seed in Dallas Baptist but a weaker #2 seed in C-USA champion Louisiana Tech. Texas should advance here.
  • #5 Texas A&M inexplicably gets a #5 national seed despite an RPI in the 20s, but is let off the hook with a weaker regional that includes a TCU team that isn’t as good as its reputation and the Sunbelt champion Louisiana (aka Louisiana-Lafayette).
  • #12 Louisville, who will be a tough out, gets a couple of cold weather teams in its regional and should advance
  • #4 Virginia Tech as discussed above gets a cake-walk of a Regional, all things considered.
  • #13 Florida gets, as discussed, both Liberty and Oklahoma, one of which has beaten them this season and the other which can beat them. Florida went just 11-17 against top 50 opponents this year despite its ranking and RPI, and I think they get beat. A deep regional.
  • #3 Oregon State cannot be happy seeing Vanderbilt in their regional; upset watch here.
  • #14 Auburn will, like nearly every SEC team, have to contend with an ACC team in Florida State but won’t be worried about a weaker Pac12 team in UCLA.
  • #6 Miami will have fun with two perennial powers in Arizona and Ole Miss, but both of these similarly ranked RPI teams probably cancel themselves out
  • #11 Southern Miss gets LSU and a tricky Kennesaw State team. Upset watch here.
  • #7 Oklahoma State had to be happy to see Grand Canyon as its #2, even if a recent national champion Arkansas is in here as #3.
  • #10 UNC gets a relatively easy draw with Georgia and VCU. UNC played top-50 ranked opponents no less than 36 times out of 57 games, good for the #2 hardest schedule this year behind Vandy.
  • #2 Stanford, who went 21-9 in the PAC12 but was just 10-9 against top 50 teams, nonetheless won’t be threatened by its regional but could be in trouble in the supers.
  • #15 Maryland has to deal with Wake Forest and one of the best cold-weather teams in Uconn, and seems like an upset in the making.


  • #1 Tennessee
  • Notre Dame
  • UVA
  • #9 Texas
  • #5 Texas A&M
  • #12 Louisville
  • #4 Virginia Tech
  • Oklahoma
  • Vanderbilt
  • #14 Auburn
  • #6 Miami
  • LSU
  • #7 Oklahoma State
  • #10 UNC
  • #2 Stanford
  • Wake Forest

Super-Early Omaha predictions:

  • #1 Tennessee
  • #9 Texas
  • #12 Louisville
  • Oklahoma
  • #6 Miami
  • #7 Oklahoma State
  • #10 UNC
  • #2 Stanford

Prospect Watch. Who are the top ranked college prospects to look for? Borrowing from the mock drafts and ranking boards, here’s some big names in play for first round action who are in the CWS:

  • Georgia Tech’s C Kevin Parada, who many mock drafters have going to the Nats at #5, is in Tennessee to play (and lose to) the #1 team.
  • Tennessee is led by two OF 1st round talents in Jordan Beck, a mid-1st rounder who is tooled up, has a ton of power and can play CF, and the guy who actually IS playing CF for them in Drew Gilbert, a high-contact hitter who can also pitch.
  • Arizona’s C Daniel Susac is in action but likely goes home early.
  • Virginia Tech is led by top 15 candidate OF Gavin Cross
  • LSU’s top player is a 1st round projection in Jacob Berry, but he’s held back by lack of position and defensive liability.
  • Texas Tech has a winnable #16 seed region with their star player and 1st rounder Jace Jung, whos brother Josh Jung was a top 10 pick in 2019.
  • Florida’s #1 starter at the beginning of the year was LHP Hunter Barco, but he went down with Tommy John and isn’t pitching (but still might be a 1st rounder).
  • Florida’s best hitting prospect is likely OF Sterlin Thompson, who will be a draft-eligible sophomore with a big bat.
  • Oklahoma State’s #1 starter is RHP Justin Campbell, a likely back of the first rounder
  • Gonzaga has a top starter in Gabriel Hughes, with a 33% strikeout rate. Should make for a fun outing in his regional when he goes.

Written by Todd Boss

May 31st, 2022 at 10:07 am

10 Responses to 'CWS 2022 Field of 64 announced; Local team preview'

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  1. what an awesome compilation! thanks so much!


    31 May 22 at 10:20 am

  2. Have a friend who’s son pitched for William and Mary.Thanks for their final RPI.

    Mark L

    1 Jun 22 at 6:15 am

  3. Tennessee has a polarizing amount of swag, but also a lot of talent and figures to be a formidable foe for the rest of the field all the way through Omaha.

    Florida has been up and down, as you note, but the Gators also made it to the finals of a loaded SEC so seem to be peaking at the right time.

    Agree with the head scratching over Texas A&M as the #5 seed. Their head coach will be facing his former TCU squad.

    Arkansas is a real threat to take out OK State. Those three teams that finished so close in the SEC West — Arkansas, LSU, and Auburn — are all talented squads that can play with anyone, even Tennessee, but also that have had some inconsistency that has tripped them up over the season at times.


    1 Jun 22 at 11:14 am

  4. I’ve seen three recent mock drafts that have Kevin Parada going to the Nats. Honestly, if they think he is the best/safest college bat, I’m OK with that. They should immediately put him in LF, though, give him the Schwarber transition to pro ball. If they keep him at catcher, they’re wasting the pick and making it much harder for him to get to the majors.

    Truth be told, all of the top college hitters — Parada, Lee, Berry, and Jung — probably won’t stick at the positions they’ve played in the college. They’re being drafted because of their bats, so go with the best one. Parada apparently has the most power among them, and solid plate discipline.

    I usually favor college picks over high school, but at this elite level of the draft, you do wonder whether the Nats might be missing out on something if they pass on Green, Johnson, or Holliday (who I don’t think will make it to #5). Johnson’s profile reminds me of Rendon, who was pretty small when he went to Rice, and even when he was drafted, but had one of the best strokes in his generation. If I were to gamble on a high schooler, I think I would be more comfortable banking on Johnson’s stroke than I would on Green’s tool shed. (I’m not mentioning Druw Jones as there seems no way he makes it to #5.)

    I’m also wondering whether Kumar Rocker makes it to pick #45, but that’s another story. A Boras client with a possible wounded wing sounds like a no-brainer for the Nats, right?


    1 Jun 22 at 12:59 pm

  5. Who does Keith Law have the Nats picking? I’m not an Athletic subscriber. He usually has pretty good inside intel on which way teams are leaning.


    1 Jun 22 at 1:01 pm

  6. Parada.

    Todd Boss

    1 Jun 22 at 4:01 pm

  7. The last few mocks i’ve seen all kinda go the same way.
    – Baltimore takes a safety pick to save $$ and get some slipping prep players in the supp/early 2nd round
    – then the next 3 picks are almost always Druw Jones, Elijah Green, and Brooks Lee.
    – which leaves Parada as BPA at #5, as a college bat, safer than the prep kids at that point.

    Todd Boss

    1 Jun 22 at 4:04 pm

  8. I don’t have a problem with Parada . . . IF they will move him off catcher. He supposedly runs well enough that he could be decent in LF, or put him at 1B. If he’s bat-first, then let him be bat-first. It’s folly to pay a king’s ransom for a potential all-star catcher in Ruiz and then immediately draft another one. Maybe Parada is the best power bat in the draft. If so, that’s great. But put him at a power position.


    1 Jun 22 at 9:05 pm

  9. tough way to go out for the Terps, controversial play at first ala Trea Turner. they battled all the way to the end and if they needed one more pitcher they had the hot dog man warming up.


    7 Jun 22 at 8:08 am

  10. […] Field of 64 announced […]

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