The college baseball is just around the corner and D1 baseball has announced the top 25 teams for the upcoming season. The SEC leads the pack with nine teams in the top 25, the ACC has eight, and the Pac-12 along with the Big 12 have three. There’s a lot of discussion on whether or not teams should be where they are but there’s no question that all of these teams belong. We will look at the top five ranked teams in college baseball.
College Baseball Rankings: 2020 D1 Baseball Top Five
1. Louisville (2019 Rank: 3)
Louisville reached the national semi-finals last season with a very talented group. They’ve lost talents like Tyler Fitzgerald and Logan Wyatt but they’ve also returned a lot to this team. The offense for them will be very explosive. They also have what feels like an elite pitching staff, starting with Reid Detmers and Bobby Miller. The Cardinals are a very talented team and, with the players they have back, they earn the top spot.
2. Vanderbilt (2019 Rank: 1)
The defending national champions will not be at the top to start the year as they will start behind the team they beat last season. Vanderbilt has the experience and the players but they lost five of their top six players from last season. The lineup still looks pretty good as they try to sustain the success. Vanderbilt’s rotation is one of the best in the league. They’re top three starters had an ERA below 3.30 last season. The number one starter Mason Hickman went 9-0 last season with an ERA of 2.05 and 129 strikeouts. That’s a pretty good top option to have. Their number two and three pitchers had an ERA of 3.25 and 2.98. They have a lethal closer to Tyler Brown. Brown had 17 saves with 65 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.19. This Vanderbilt team is set up for success yet again.
3. Miami (2019 Rank: 19)
Miami ranked 19 last season but their projected lineup for this season makes them a top-three team. They had three players with double-digit home runs last season with one of them being Alex Toral, who had 24. The other two, Adrian Del Castillo and Raymond Gil, had 12 and 13 home runs with a batting average over .310. This offense can hurt a lot of teams and that’s why you see this big jump. Don’t forget about their top starter, Brian Van Belle, who posted a 10-2 record with a 3.30 ERA with 84 strikeouts last season.
4. Florida (2019 Rank: NR)
The Florida Gators weren’t even ranked to end the season last year but they find themselves in the top five in the preseason top five. People think the Gators offense will improve greatly this season despite losing their top two hitters. The offense wasn’t the problem last season, it was the rotation. Their top two starters had an ERA of over 5.00 last season and they have a new addition to the rotation for the number three spot. If the pitching can get right and cut that ERA in half, they can challenge for a national title.
5. Georgia (2019 Rank: 18)
The Bulldogs round out the preseason top five. The offense was mediocre at best and will lose a few batters this season. They have the veterans and experience so if they make a run, it’s because of that. Georgia has a great number one option in the rotation in Emerson Hancock. Hancock finished last season with an 8-3 record, a 1.99 ERA and 97 strikeouts. They have a lot of talented pitchers but they need to stay healthy and rested. Hitters will fear this rotation if they can get the fastball and slider going. There’s a reason why the Bulldogs are number five so don’t take this team lightly. It will be interesting to see if everyone can get on the same page and put it all together.
Around the Diamond
There are a few people that think different teams should be in the top five. Louisville and Vanderbilt are fine but after that, it’s a little shaky. Two very talented teams in Texas Tech and Mississippi State are in the top ten but not the top five like they were last season. Arkansas sits as the number seven team and could easily go up. Either way, all of these teams have the talent and deserve to be here. Teams are mixed with veterans and young studs and that is a dangerous combo. It will be a very interesting season in college baseball.
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