Top Players to Watch in College Baseball This Season
It’s that time of year again, basketball is winding down and college baseball opening day is upon us. While the draft prospect rankings are constantly changing, it’s safe to say there is a lot to sort out between now and the end of May. It’s time to preview the upcoming season’s players.
Here are some of the top draft-eligible college prospects, with an eye toward the June MLB draft.
Alex Faedo, Florida, RHP, Jr.
Faedo went 13-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts, including 7-1 in SEC play. With a record number of strikeouts by a Florida pitcher in 18 years, he had a total of 133 strikes in 104.2 innings with five, 10-plus, strikeout games. Faedo ranked third in the country last year.
Andrew Beckwith, Coastal Carolina, RHP, Sr.
Beckwith led the nation in wins with a 15-1 record. Beckwith was the most outstanding player in the College World Series in 2016. He moved from the bullpen to a starter’s role in the second half of the season, finishing with a 1.85 ERA.
Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt, OF, Jr.
Kendall is the No. 1 college player and No. 2 overall on MLB’s list of top 50 draft prospects. Kendall led the team with a .332 batting average, 63 runs and 59 RBIs. He tied the record with eight triples and hit a career-high nine homers.
Brendan McKay, Louisville, IF/LHP, Jr.
The first baseman/pitcher is a two-time winner of John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year. The lefty was 12-4 with a 2.30 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 17 starts. McKay batted .333 with six home runs, 19 doubles and 41 RBIs. McKay has been the best two-way player in the country in the last two years.
Carlos Cortes, South Carolina, OF/DH, Fr.
One of the top high school players in Florida last season, Cortes, the 5’7”, 195-pounder is ambidextrous. He throws with his right hand when playing infield and with his left when playing outfield. He was rated one of the top 25 high school prospects in the nation by D1Baseball and Perfect Game, coming out of high school in Oviedo, Fla.