Ten players to watch, in alphabetical order, in college baseball this season:
2B Brooks Carlson, Samford
Carlson has excelled since he joined the Bulldogs in 2018 and is a two-time first-team All-Southern Conference pick. He led the league in batting (.500) and hits (19) last season and is the 2021 preseason player of the year for the SoCon favorites.
1B Maxwell Costes, Maryland
It would have been interesting to see what Costes could have accomplished in a full season last year. He led the Terps in batting (.432), on base percentage (.620), slugging (.750), home runs (4) and walks (16). His on-base percentage was second nationally.
CF Colton Cowser, Sam Houston State
Cowser was not recruited by the big baseball schools coming out of high school, but he’s molded himself into a potential first-round draft pick. He’s extremely polished defensively, and he’s better offensively than he showed when he batted .255 over 14 games. He batted .361 with seven homers in 2019.
C Adrian Del Castillo, Miami
Del Castillo is regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the college game who can hit for power or average and walks more than he strikes out. He led the Hurricanes with a .358 average in 19 games last season with two doubles, a triple and two homers.
CF Jud Fabian, Florida
Fabian, who bats right-handed and throws left-handed, could be one of the first college players drafted given his trajectory the last two years. Scouts are hard-pressed to find a hole in his game. He batted .294 last season with five homers in 17 games, and his .603 on-base plus slugging was one of the best in the SEC.
SS Matt McLain, UCLA
One of the cool stories in the college game, McLain opted to go to school even though he was a first-round draft pick as a high school senior. Once he got to UCLA, he had to play third base and outfield while waiting for the shortstop job to open. He has added some power to what already was a sound offensive game.
2B Robert Moore, Arkansas
Moore batted .317 with two homers and 17 RBIs as a 17-year-old freshman in 2020. His 20 hits were second most among SEC freshmen. He’s the son of Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
3B Cody Morissette, Boston College
Morissette has been an anchor for the Eagles after going undrafted in high school. He began rising on draft boards after batting .448 with six doubles and two homers in 15 games last year.
RHP Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound junior is the projected No. 1 pick in the MLB draft. As if his fastball weren’t devastating enough, he’s grown more confident in his cutter and put polish on his changeup. He’s the best college power pitcher in years, proving it in a 2019 freshman season in which he threw a no-hitter in super regionals and was named Most Outstanding Player in the College World Series.
LHP Jordan Wicks, Kansas State
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore is the Big 12’s preseason pitcher of the year after a dominant 2020. He threw 24 2/3 shutout innings before he gave up the only earned run against him in a team-high 26 innings. His changeup is elite and fastball and slider are solid.