College Baseball Rankings: 2021 D1 Top Five

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GAINESVILLE, FL - FEB 22: Freshman first baseman Kris Armstrong fields a ground ball during the college baseball game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida Gators on February 22, 2019 at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2021 college baseball season is just a month away and D1 Baseball has just announced its rankings for the upcoming season. There are a lot of no brainers but also a lot of surprises. The SEC leads the way with nine teams in the top 25 followed by the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and Big Ten. Two non-power five conference teams also made the list with UC Santa Barbara at number 11 while Coastal Carolina is at number 25. With the season cut short last year, many are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2021 college baseball season.

College Baseball Rankings: 2021 D1 Top Five

Florida (2020 Rank: 1)

The Florida Gators entered the 2020 campaign ranked number four in the country. Many wondered what this team would look like when losing two of their top hitters and a questionable rotation. The Gators answered those questions to a tee. They started the season with sixteen straight wins before losing to Florida State. Florida was going to be entering conference play against Georgia before the season got canceled due to COVID-19. They scored five or more runs in 12 games last season while the pitching kept teams to three or fewer runs in 13 games. The top spot at the end of the shortened season belonged to the Gators and that’s where they pick up coming into this season.

For the eighth consecutive year, Florida has brought in a top-five recruiting class. Mix that in with the amount of returning talent like right-handers Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich along with center fielder Jud Fabian, who led the team in home runs with five, and you have a team that is contending for the National Championship.

UCLA (2020 Rank: 5)

Much like Florida, UCLA started the year hot with an 11-game winning streak but went 2-2 to finish the season. Their biggest win of the season came when they got a 3-2 victory over the defending champions, Vanderbilt. UCLA opens the season up at number two after finishing in the top five last season. Even though this team loses a top-20 draft pick with outfielder Garrett Mitchell and their closer Holden Powell, this team is still poised to make a run at a National Championship.

Their rotation looks good at the top with ace Zach Pettway, who had an ERA of 1.05, and Jesse Bergin, who had an ERA of 1.27. The Bruins also have some nice talent on the rise coming into the rotation and the bullpen. They also have some strong candidates all around the field that makes this team so dangerous. UCLA is one of the teams to watch heading into 2021.

Texas Tech (2020 Rank: 4)

Texas Tech ended 2020 with a 16-3 record and the number four spot in the top 25. They won 12 consecutive games at one point before dropping the last two games of the season to Mississippi State. The Red Raiders enter this season as the number three team in the country as we can see why. They have a lot of depth at the pitching position and they return some experience.

On the offensive side, they feel just as good, even without their leader Brian Klein. Texas Tech has a lot of options along the infield and the outfield has the potential to be the best in all of college baseball with their speed and versatility. After talking about this team, it seems even more clear that they could be the best in the country.

Vanderbilt (2020 Rank: 6)

Coming off of a championship in 2019, there was every reason to believe this team was poised to make another run in 2020. Coming into last season, all parts of their game seemed flawless. That wasn’t quite the case to start the first few games of the 2020 season. Vanderbilt started the season playing in the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament in Scottsdale Arizona. They played their opponent in the College World Series to start the season. It was a pretty good battle on the mound but Michigan pulled it out 4-3. The second game in the tournament was much better as they beat UConn 6-1 but ultimately lost in the tournament finale to Cal Poly 9-8. 

Vanderbilt went on to finish the season at 13-5 and a convincing 11-2 win over Toledo. Entering this season, they need to find their footing and it starts with their two studs at the top of the rotation with Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter. After that, they don’t have a lot of players that have proved themselves too much in the rotation. Vanderbilt has a few questions to be answered in that department but they do have their eye on a couple of pitchers who have the potential.

The bullpen has some arms that could make it one of the best in the country but they still have a lot of questions and that goes for the offense as well. The lack of experience on this team is what might hold them back but if they get going, Vanderbilt could be yet another team making a run in the NCAA Tournament. 

Louisville (2020 Rank: 2)

After having high expectations coming into the season in 2020, Louisville came out flat against a tough Ole Miss team on the road. They dropped the opening series due to poor pitching in two of the three games. The Cardinals also dropped the first game of the next series to Wright State before going 12-1 to end the season. That spurt landed them as the number two team in the country before the season was canceled. During that run, the pitching was a big part of why they had success. The rotation heads into this season looking to pick up right where they left off. Louisville is feeling good about this rotation along with a stout bullpen.

On the offensive side, Luke Brown hit well over .300 last season and is a great base runner. Ben Metzinger is one to keep an eye on as well with his amazing bat and versatility. The Cardinals have talent all around as they enter the season as the number five team looking to move up and finally make a National Championship appearance. 

D1 Top 10 Teams

  1. Florida
  2. UCLA
  3. Texas Tech
  4. Vanderbilt
  5. Louisville
  6. Ole Miss
  7. Mississippi State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Texas
  10. TCU

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