Baseball America released their preseason Top 25 rankings in college baseball on Tuesday. Yes, the college baseball season is right around the corner.
Shockingly, Duke is not ranked in the top 25. However, there is a reason to get excited about Sean McNally’s Blue Devils in 2012. Pitcher Marcus Stroman is ranked as one of the top ten collegiate prospects for the June MLB draft.
Duke opens the baseball season with a weekend road trip to 13th ranked Texas, who made an appearance in last year’s College World Series. That series begins on Friday, February 17th. That’s less than a month away and a reason to banish the winter blues.
Even though Duke isn’t ranked, the ACC is well represented. Five teams are ranked in the top 25, with the highest being North Carolina at number 9. Georgia Tech ranks 12th, with Clemson at 16, Miami at 18, and Florida State at 20. All five teams have lost some key contributors, but the ACC is always tough and there will be some new recruits coming in.
The one notable omission is Virginia, who made an appearance in the CWS along with UNC. However, they lost many key players in both the rotation (Danny Hultzen, Will Roberts, and Tyler Wilson) and the lineup (like Kenny Swab and Steven Proscia). They do still have closer Branden Kline, who is a top draft prospect and a preseason All-American.
The SEC is the dominant conference in the preseason rankings, as they have three of the top four, six of the top 11, and seven overall. Florida, last year’s runner-up, is number one, as they return the bulk of their everyday lineup and their entire weekend rotation. Back-to-back champion South Carolina begins the season ranked third. The SEC may be the toughest conference in 2012, as three teams (LSU, Georgia, and Ole Miss) are ranked but finished last season unranked.
You can check out the entire preseason rankings HERE.