2018 Pre Season College Baseball Rankings
Welcome to the first Top 25 team rankings for the 2018 college baseball season and thanks to our friends at Rawlings for presenting our 2018 college baseball content. Listed below are the Top 25 teams, a list assembled by Perfect Game's Patrick Ebert and Mike Rooney.
In the previous three seasons the preseason No. 1 team has been somewhat of a slam dunk, even if none of those three teams (Vanderbilt, Florida and TCU) emerged as the champion during those respective seasons. That isn't brought up to suggest that the Florida Gators weren't an easy pick for the top spot of this year's preseason Top 25, but there was more discussion about which teams were deserving of consideration to open the season No. 1.
While Oregon State, TCU, Texas Tech and Florida State are all returning an impressive amount of talent from already strong 2017 teams, in the end we couldn't steer away from the defending champs. Not surprisingly it starts with their pitching staff, with Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Tyler Dyson all back in the fold to form the weekend starting staff. Closer Michael Byrne is also back, as are numerous key position players including J.J. Schwarz, Jonathan India and Nelson Maldonado. In addition to a strong freshman class, their sophomore class – led by Dyson and outfielder Austin Langworthy – is poised to take a significant step forward.
Should the Gators return to Omaha it will continue what has been a rather remarkable run for Kevin O'Sullivan's squad, as they will have made it to the College World Series four years in a row and seven times in nine years. Jeff Dahn will have a feature on the No. 1-ranked Florida Gators on Thursday.
The top five teams are all very strong with the aforementioned return of talent. Oregon State did lose some impact players, but their starting lineup, outside of K.J. Harrison, should look almost the same with the best middle infield tandem in the nation (Nick Madrigal and Cadyn Grenier). The starting staffs for both TCU and Texas Tech could give Florida a run for their money, while Florida State returns their entire weekend starting staff and several big bats from a potent lineup.
Two more teams separated themselves from the rest of the field during the Top 25 deliberations: No. 6 Arkansas and No. 7 North Carolina. Arkansas is a little top heavy when it comes to pitching but they should have no problem scoring runs, while North Carolina is going to be a serious CWS contender each of the next two seasons with arguably the most talented sophomore class in the nation.
Seven of the teams in the Preseason Top 25 did not finish among the ranked teams to close out the 2017 season. Ole Miss, NC State and Oklahoma all were in the Top 25 at some point during the spring. Miami, at No. 9, is the highest ranked of three Top 25 teams that didn't make the postseason a year ago as they return with incredible pitching depth and one of the best newcomer groups in the nation.
We will make more sense of the Top 25 next Tuesday (Jan. 16) when we will follow up the ranking with detailed capsules of each of the 25 teams. The day after that (Wed., Jan. 17) we will provide the teams ranked 26-40 along with a brief synopsis of each program.
Breakdown by conference:
SEC: 7 teams (Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana State, Texas A&M, Mississippi State)
ACC: 7 teams (Florida State, North Carolina, Miami, NC State, Louisville, Duke, Clemson)
Big 12: 4 teams (Texas Christian, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas)
Pac-12: 3 teams (Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA)
American Athletic: 1 team (Houston)
Big Ten: 1 team (Indiana)
Big West: 1 team (Cal State Fullerton)
Southland: 1 team (Sam Houston State)
|'17 Record||'17 Rk
|52-19||1||College World Series Champion|
|56-6||3||College World Series|
|50-18||4||College World Series|
|46-23||9||College World Series|
|49-14||6||Chapel Hill Regional|
|43-23||11||Louisville Super Regional|
|32-27||NO||Did not make postseason|
|32-25||NO||Did not make postseason|
||College World Series Runner-up|
|53-12||5||College World Series|
|41-23||12||College World Series|
|30-27||NO||Long Beach Regional|
Cal State Fullerton
|39-24||8||College World Series|
|30-28||NO||Did not make postseason|
Sam Houston State
|44-23||22||Tallahassee Super Regional|
|39-24||23||Long Beach Regional|
|40-27||15||Baton Rouge Super Regional|