2024 D1Baseball top five

College Baseball Rankings: 2024 D1Baseball Top Five

It’s that time of year again for D1Baseball to release their top 25 rankings ahead of the upcoming campaign. This year promises to be strong as there are multiple contenders to win the National Championship. Over the last four seasons, SEC teams have come out on top of the college baseball world, and judging by these rankings, there could be another this season.

The SEC leads D1Baseball’s top 25 with eight teams, three in the top five. The ACC is a close second with six followed by the Big 12 (4) and Pac 12 (2). As we gear towards yet another exciting college baseball season, let’s take a look at the top teams and if they can add a 2024 National Championship to their resume.

College Baseball Rankings: 2024 D1Baseball Top Five

1. Wake Forest

  • 2023 Preseason Rank: 5
  • 2023 Final Rank: 3
  • 2023 Record: 54-12

After a dominant 2023 campaign that saw them go 54-12 with a 22-7 ACC record, Wake Forest looks to repeat that and more this season. Part of that dominance was booking a trip to Omaha for the first time since 1955. This landed them ranked number three to end the season. Because of that success and the talent that enters the 2024 season, Wake Forest begins as the number-one team in the country.

The Demon Deacons return some of the best talent in college baseball, including the return of Nick Kurtz on the offensive side, who slashed .353/.527/.784 with 24 home runs and 69 RBI in 2023. He is joined in the lineup by transfer Seaver King, who is D1Baseball’s Summer Breakout Prospect Award Winner.

From the pitching side, they return starter Josh Hartle, who went 11-2 with a 2.81 ERA and 140 strikeouts. Not only did Wake Forest bring in a top transfer bat but they also brought in a top transfer arm Chase Burns. In two seasons with Tennessee, he went 13-5 with a 3.54 ERA.

With a solid freshman class, the top transfer class, and returning talent, Wake Forest has the potential to not only take another trip to Omaha but win their second College World Series in program history.

2. Florida

  • 2023 Preseason Rank: 7
  • 2023 Final Rank: 2
  • 2023 Record: 54-17

The Gators finished last season as the national runner-up, losing to Ole Miss in the CWS Final in three games. They ended 2023 ranked number two and that’s where they’ll open up 2024.

Florida had one of the best offenses last season, ranking top ten in both hits and total runs while leading all of college baseball in home runs (146). Coming into this year, they can be just as dangerous if not more than they were 2023. It all starts with two-way star Jac Caglianone, who hit .322 with 33 home runs while adding 90 RBI and 208 total bases, both single-season school records. They also return a handful of impact bats, including bringing in some power from the portal.

In addition to the offense, the Gators also return some impactful arms on the mound. Not only can Jac Caglianone hit but he is part of a talented pitching staff that includes All-American’s Brandon Neely and Cade Fisher.

After just falling a win short of a National Championship last season, Florida comes into 2024 with expectations of getting back to the College World Series and this time coming out on top.

3. Arkansas

  • 2023 Preseason Rank: 8
  • 2023 Final Rank: 16
  • 2023 Record: 43-18

Losing to TCU in the Fayetteville Regional last season, Arkansas has a chip on its shoulder to show everyone that they’re one of the most talented teams in the nation. Another trip to Omaha would do that but they have the ability to do more and it starts with their pitching.

The Razorbacks boast probably the best pitching staff top to bottom in college baseball. They’re led by Hagen Smith, who went 8-2 last year with a 3.64 ERA and a team-leading 109 strikeouts and has the potential to be the number-one overall pick in the MLB Draft this year. He could be accompanied by Brady Tygart (3.20 ERA in 2023) and Texas Tech transfer Mason Molina (3.77 career ERA) in the starting rotation. Arkansas also has a deep bullpen filled with powerful arms that can dominate in a variety of ways.

Everyone talks about the pitching staff, rightfully so, but to go along with lethal arms is an offense that could see production up and down the lineup. Even with some new names, people are excited about the power aspect this team could possess.

Arkansas pitching alone makes them a national title contender but combined with a complementary offense, they have a real shot at bringing their first championship home.

4. LSU

  • 2023 Preseason Rank: 1
  • 2023 Final Rank: 1
  • 2023 Record: 54-17

It’s no surprise LSU is ranked in the top five. They started last season ranked as the top team in the country and also ended as the top team in the country, polishing off a great season with a National Championship. Even though the Tigers are the defending champs, they’re ranked number four coming into this season.

LSU lost some pretty good talent to the MLB Draft but also brought in some notable peices as well. They return 21 players from last season, have the number two ranked transfer class, and number three recruiting class. The centerpiece around this lineup is the returning All-American superstar third baseman Tommy White, who hit .377 with 24 home runs with a very impressive 105 RBI and 1.164 OPS. He will be joined by the returning All-American Jared Jones and a couple of impact transfer bats.

The power in this lineup can be scary but the Tigers also bring in a deep pitching staff, which can be even better than last year. Despite losing a great one-two punch, they return experience from the 2023 team and add great pieces from the transfer portal like Alabama ace Luke Holman, UCLA pitcher Gage Jump, and talented reliever Justin Loer.

The Tigers have talent just about everywhere on offense and the mound, setting up for a real chance to defend their title by being the first program to go back-to-back since South Carolina did it in 2010 and 2011.

5. TCU

  • 2023 Preseason Rank: 15
  • 2023 Final Rank: 5
  • 2023 Record: 44-24

Finishing 2023 ranked number five, TCU opens up 2024 in the same spot. They had a hot finish to last season, winning the Big 12 Tournament and going on to defeat Arkansas in the Fayetteville Regional and Indiana State in the Fort Worth Super Regional. The Horned Frogs won two games in Omaha but ultimately fell short against Florida. This season could be even better for TCU, showing that they can be a contender after their impressive run last year.

The team will be led this year by Anthony Silva on offense, who was named First Team Freshman All-American by hitting .330 with seven home runs and 50 RBI. Now that he has some experience under his belt, look for his numbers to rise in what looks like a pretty strong offensive unit that also brings in Ole Miss transfer Peyton Chatagnier. Not only could these two be the center of the offense but with their defense up the middle at short and second, they could be one of the best defensive tandems in the country.

To link with this offense is what could be an elite pitching staff. Headlining this rotation is the returning Kole Klecker, who started 17 games and went 10-4 with a 3.72 ERA while leading the team in strikeouts with 72. Also joining him at the top of the rotation is two-way Wichita State transfer Payton Tolle. Part of what could make this staff so great is the bullpen as well.

With this lineup along with a deep pitching staff and what could be a strong defense behind them, everyone has their eyes on TCU for the upcoming season and is excited to see this team become a contender once again.

D1Baseball Top 25 Rankings (6-25)

6. Vanderbilt
7. Oregon State
8. Texas A&M
10. Clemson
11. East Carolina
12. Duke
13. NC State
14. Virginia
15. North Carolina
16. Texas
17. UC Santa Barbara
18. Coastal Carolina
19. Alabama
20. Iowa
21. Texas Tech
22. UCLA
23. Northeastern
24. Kansas State
25. South Carolina

Main Image: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

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