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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 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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Nats finish with 11th pick next season

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A useless 3-game winning streak against another also-ran from the division ended up costing the Nats at least 5 spots in the 2021 draft.

Assuming that MLB does not do any chicanery with the 2021 draft order, the Nats stand to pick 11th overall, down from projecting to at worst 6th overall a week ago.

http://www.tankathon.com/mlb

Despite the drop, the 2021 draft projects to be a pretty solid draft, thanks to the 5-round draft done this year and the corresponding dozens of decent college prospects who were forced to return to school (and, for prep players, forced to actually attend school, some of which chose the juco route, making them immediately eligible for the draft).

We have some 2021 draft content in the works; a drop out of the top 10 probably costs the nats a shot at one of the more “famous” names in the draft (Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter, Matt McClean, etc) it does bring into play one of many very solid players from a second tier of guys. Could we be looking at someone like LSU’s starter Jadan Hill or Ole Miss’ starter Gunnar Hogeland? Could a run on starters at the top of the 2021 draft force the Nats to actually take a position player? We’ll see.

Written by Todd Boss

September 28th, 2020 at 8:25 am

Race to the Bottom: 2021 Draft outlook

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For the first time in quite a while, the Nats are projected to be drafting in the top 10. The last time the team was projected to be drafting this high was in 2011, when they picked 6th overall and somehow nabbed Anthony Rendon in the process.

Here’s where the “standings” for the #1 pick sit as of 9/14/20, with the Nats exactly 75% of the way done with their season (better link at tankathon.com)

  1. Pittsburgh: 14-30. entered the season in real “tanking” mode and have successfully executed their plan. The last time they drafted #1 overall they managed to snag Gerrit Cole, but their history of drafting in the 1st round is basically abhorrent since. The best 1st rounder they’ve managed since is Austin Meadows, who the team traded away to acquire Chris Archer. Archer has pitched awfully for Pittsburgh and is missing 2020 due to shoulder surgery. Its no wonder Pittsburgh remains mired in the second division.
  2. Boston at 17-31: wow the Boston fans must just be ecstatic with the management of their team. One of the wealthiest franchises in the world, which cleared north of $500M in revenues in 2019, is the 2nd worst team in baseball after crying poor and trading away a generational talent last off-season in Mookie Betts. At least their “plan” is now going to net them a top pick in what should be a stacked draft.
  3. Arizona (17-31) certainly didn’t expect themselves to be this bad, not after buying an ace in the off-season in Madison Bumgarner and making a bunch more moves. They also face one of the easiest remaining schedules, so if they play a bit better they might drop down a bit on this list.
  4. Texas at 17-30 is shocking; i thought they had one of the best rotations in the game heading into 2020. That rotation has collapsed; they lost ace Corey Kluber after one start, and three of their rotation members have regressed horribly.
  5. Washington at 17-28: the team has a 1.5 game “lead” over #6 Kansas City, and we’re coming into a stretch where we have to play a slew of doubleheaders coming up, meaning a slew of 4-A starters and an already-taxed bullpen getting shredded.

What do I think is going to happen here on out? I sense the Nats continuing their trend and staying roughly at the #4 or #5 range. They’d need to win three straight games just to get into the #6 slot right now … something they haven’t managed to do since the first week of the season.

The 2021 draft, coincidentally, is stacked. Tons of solid collegiate arms at the top, right in the Nat’s wheel house. The last mock I saw had this as a top 5: Kumar Rocker, Jack Leiter, Jud Fabian, Adrian Del Castillo, and Jaden Hill as the top 5, all of whom are solid college players who could move fast.

2019 Draft coverage; Overview of top Draft prospects

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Rutschman is the clear 1-1 favorite. Photo via oregonlive.com

Rutschman is the clear 1-1 favorite. Photo via oregonlive.com

This is a review of the marquee names that have been in discussion for the top-end of the 1st round for the 2019 draft.  Since (especially high schoolers) guys constantly are moving up or down draft boards, each section is divided into two areas: those 4-5 names really in talks to go 1-1 overall (“1-1” means 1st round, 1st overall) and then those who have fallen to “just” being 1st or 2nd rounders.

By now, the top of the draft seems settled, but this post contains a slew of names that were once talked about as “top of the draft” talents but who have slipped.  Most of these names are back part of the 1st round/2nd rounders now, with some dropping to the point that they’ll honor college commitments and thus be 35th-40th rounders instead.

We’ll follow this up with a mock draft collection tomorrow; this is a good reference point for the names you’re going to hear day-1 of the draft.


 

College Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State.  Switch-hitting Middle of the Order bat for the 2018 team, powered them to the CWS.  2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 (behind Joey Bart).  1st team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team.  Clear consensus 1-1 heading into 2019 spring season, and has stayed there, being almost guaranteed to go 1-1.
  • Andrew Vaughn, 1B California.  1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  1st team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, 2018 Golden spikes winner as a Sophomore.  Best  hitter in class.  Seems guaranteed to go in the 2-4 range.
  • Nick Lodolo, LHP, Texas Christian.  Supplemental 1st rounder in 2016 out of HS, 2017 freshman AA 1st or 2nd team.  3 year starter for TCU.  Mid-90s FB from left hand side.  #1 college arm, seems likely to go in the 6-8 range.
  • Alek Manoah, RHP West Virginia.  Huge 2018 Cape season vaulted into 1st round territory, huge guy with big arm.  Now #2 college arm in draft, perhaps #1 b/c of durability.  Likely going in the 6-8 range.
  • JJ Bleday, OF, Vanderbilt.  Solid 2018 in Cape, rising star, corner OF.  Leading power hitter in d1baseball, has pushed his way into the top 5 discussion.

College Candidates who have fallen out of  1-1 contention

  • Jackson Rutledge, RHP San Jacinto JC.  Xfer out of 4-yr program (Arkansas) to become 2019 draft eligible.  Hits 97 from deceptive slot, could be sneaky 1st rounder, now mentioned as a top 10 pick.
  • Josh Jung, 3B Texas Tech.  3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as sophomore.   2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, nearly hit .400 sophomore year, can also play OF.
  • Bryson Stott, SS UNLV.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, staying at SS.
  • Zack Thompson, LHP, Kentucky; 2017 freshman All-American (2nd team d1baseball fresh AA in 2017).  Some elbow injury issues, but pitched well for team USA in 2018.
  • Hunter Bishop, OF Arizona State: helium 2019 guy, found power.
  • Michael Busch, 1B UNC.
  • Kameron Misner, OF, Missouri.  injured in 2018, true CF.
  • Graeme Stinson, LHP Duke.  big lefty, can be dominant, could be fast riser.
  • Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, performed well.  Still looks like top-10 pick b/c of position, but broke Hamate bone spr19.  Lots of pundits have him pegged as the Nats #1 pick.
  • Will Holland, SS Auburn.
  • Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Miss.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team.   Also pitches for Southern Miss; is their closer with upper 90s FB.
  • Logan Davidson, SS Clemson.  Combo of power and defensive ability to stick at SS.
  • Andrew Pallante, RHP for UC-Irvine.  2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as a sophomore.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team
  • Bryant Packard, OF ECU.  1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Kyle Brnovich, RHP Elon.  1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team.
  • Jack Little, RHP (closer) from Stanford.   1st Team AA PG/Rawlings 2018.  1st team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Chase Strumpf, 2B UCLA.   2nd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 (behind Kody Clemens).  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Sean Mooney, RHP St. Johns.  3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as sophomore.
  • Grant Little, OF Texas Tech.   3rd team AA PG/Rawlings 2018 as sophomore.   2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Parker Caracci, RHP Ole Miss.  2nd team d1baseball AA 2018.
  • Zack Hess, RHP LSU via LCA in Lynchburg VA.  2018 USA Collegiate National Team, but really struggling as a starter, may be pushed down several rounds.
  • Mike Toglia, OF UCLA.
  • Carter Stewart, RHP Fla JuCo.  9th overall pick out of HS in 2018 enrolled in Juco, but stuff has faltered, costing him draft position in 2019.   Recently signed a pro contract in Japan, and no longer eligible in the draft.

High School Upper 1st round names in the mix for 1-1

  • Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS.  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.   3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.  Son of Bobby Witt.  Oklahoma commit.  East Cobb Sox summer team.  At TOS 2018.  1st team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior.  Likely going 2nd overall.
  • C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS (Alpharetta, Ga.) PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  Alabama commit.  At TOS 2018.  Likely going in the 4-6 range.
  • Matthew Allan, RHP Seminole HS (Fla).  Evoshield Canes national team, PG underclassman AA all three years eligible.  Florida commit.  93-97 spring 19, rising up.  Top prep arm in draft?   Huge bonus demands may cause him to drop.
  • Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS (Oviedo, Fla.).  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   Florida commit.  At TOS 2018.  Best HS hitter in class?

High School guys in the 1st couple rounds:

  • Quinn Priester, RHP, Cary, Ill.  HS.  TCU commit.  91-93 on the mound.
  • Brett Baty, Inf from Lake Austin HS (Tex.).  Gatorade Texas state POTY as a junior in 2018, 1st team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior.
  • Corbin Carroll, OF, Lakeside School (Seattle).  Helium guy summer 2018, smaller guy.  Canes summer team, UCLA commit.  Athletic guy, may be interesting argument.
  • Brennan Malone, RHP Matthews (NC) HS.   PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  Up to 95 as 17yr old.  UNC commit.  At TOS 2018, hitting 97 now.
  • Rece Hinds, SS/3B, Niceville (Fla.) HS.  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.   2nd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.  LSU commit.  Big power guy.
  • Daniel Espino, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Ga.).  Helium guy summer 2018, up to 99 at events.  LSU commit.  Possible mechanics issues.
  • Jack Leiter, RHP NJ HS.  Son of Al Leiter, Vanderbilt commit, may be 4th best prep arm but will cost $$ to buy him out of Vanderbilt commitment.
  • Matthew Thompson, RHP Cyprus Ranch (Tex) HS.  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  TAMU commit.  Evoshield Canes National summer team.  At TOS 2018.
  • JJ Goss, RHP Cypress Ranch HS (Houston, TX).  Rising fast.
  • Hunter Barco, LHP, The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.).  PG underclassman All-American as both soph and jr.  UVA verbal commit.  East Cobb Astros summer team.  At TOS 2018.  polarizing prospect, some love him, some hat him.
  • Jerrian Ealy, OF Jackson Prep (Miss.) HS.  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   Ole Miss commit.  At TOS 2018.  2-way star, playing both Football and Baseball at Ole Miss.
  • Wesley Scott, RHP Woodcrest Christian (Cal.) HS.  Vanderbilt commit.  95 as a junior.
  • Sam Hliboki, RHP from Harvard-Westlake HS (Cal.).  2nd team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior.
  • Logan Britt, OF All Saints Episcopal High School (Tex.)  TAMU commit.
  • Connor Phillips RHP Magnolia West High School (Tex).  LSU commit.
  • Matt McCormick, C St. Laurence (Burbank, Ill.).  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   West Virginia commit.  2nd team Max Preps all-american in 2018 as a junior
  • Joseph Charles, RHP The First Academy (Fla.) HS.  UNC Commit.  94 as a junior.
  • Nolan Hudi, LHP Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.).  1st Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.  TCU commit.
  • Geoffrey Gilbert, LHP Bishop England (Charleston, S.C.).  3rd Team USA today HS AA as a junior in 2018.   Clemson commit.
  • Carter Young, SS/2B Selah, Was.  At TOS 2018.
  • Jonathan French, C Parkview GA.  At TOS 2018.
  • GlenAllen  Hill Jr., OF Santa Cruz, Calif.  At TOS 2018.
  • Sam Ireland, SS from Mountain Vista HS (Col.).  State POTY for several publications in 2018 as a junior, 2nd team Max Preps AA.

 


 

Sources used to create this list