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College  | Story  | 1/8/2019

College Preseason All-Americans

Patrick Ebert      Mike Rooney     
Photo: Andrew Vaughn (Cal Athletics)

Welcome to the beginning of Perfect Game's 2019 College Baseball preview content. This is the first of many features between now and the beginning of the season, Friday, February 15. From the Preseason All-Americans, top prospects by class, initial rankings of the Top 25 teams and detailed conference previews, Perfect Game will have you covered.

The Perfect Game/Rawlings Preseason All-American teams consist of 17 players each, with three full teams listed below, including detailed reports on all of the players listed on the first team. The players are selected based on a balance of past performance, 2019 expectations and their prospective talent relative to the MLB Draft.

Special thanks to 2080 Baseball for allowing Perfect Game to use select video clips included in the montage. View their extensive 2019 MLB Draft video library here.

First Team

Pos. Name School Class AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Adley Rutschman Oregon State JR .408 .505 .628 56 102 22 3 9 83 1
1B Andrew Vaughn California JR .402 .531 .819 59 80 14 0 23 63 4
2B Chase Strumpf UCLA JR .363 .475 .633 59 82 23 1 12 53 2
3B Josh Jung Texas Tech JR .392 .491 .639 69 103 17 6 12 80 4
SS Bryson Stott UNLV JR .365 .442 .556 61 92 30 3 4 32 14
OF Matt Wallner Southern Miss JR .351 .474 .618 59 80 13 0 16 67 2
OF Bryant Packard East Carolina JR .406 .462 .671 51 89 16 0 14 50 6
OF Heston Kjerstad Arkansas SO .332 .419 .553 65 87 16 0 14 58 3
DH Spencer Torkelson Arizona State SO .320 .440 .743 59 66 12 0 25 53 4
UT Tristin English Georgia Tech JR .279 .324 .442 33 63 17 1 6 60 1

Pos. Name School Class ERA W-L CG SV IP H SO BB OBA
SP Andre Pallante UC Irvine JR 1.60 10-1 0 0 101.1 77 115 30 .206
SP Kyle Brnovich Elon JR 1.71 8-2 1 0 105 57 147 36 .159
SP Kevin Abel Oregon State SO 2.88 8-1 1 1 81.1 51 108 46 .181
SP Mason Feole Connecticut JR 2.50 9-2 1 0 100.2 82 120 49 .220
SP Drew Parrish Florida State JR 2.52 5-1 2 0 107 71 128 37 .186
RP Jack Little Stanford JR 0.60 3-0 0 16 45.1 26 58 8 .167
RP Parker Caracci Mississippi JR 2.25 5-2 0 10 48 38 73 14 .221
UT Tristin English Georgia Tech JR 4.11 2-4 0 1 57 68 51 13 .300

Adley Rutschman, Oregon State

The Most Outstanding Player for the championship Oregon State Beavers last season, Rutschman finished fifth in the nation in batting (.408) as a switch-hitting catcher. His defensive profile matches his statistical production, with a strong, athletic frame and the ability to both manage a pitching staff effectively while shutting down opposing teams’ running games. He has the bat speed, hand strength and discipline to allow balls to travel deep in the zone before driving them with authority to all parts of the field with a knack for taking pitches the opposite way, with power, as he displayed in Omaha during the College World Series. Rutschman, who began his collegiate athletic career as a member of the Oregon State football team, is the favorite to go first overall in the 2019 MLB Draft and should give Cal’s Andrew Vaughn serious competition for Pac-12 Player of the Year honors.

First Base
Andrew Vaughn, California

Vaughn’s incredible offensive performance led to him being named PG’s College Player of the Year in addition to being honored with the Golden Spikes Award as college baseball’s best player. He is the first player since Kip Bouknight in 2001 that has the opportunity to win the award a second time, something that has never been done. His numbers look like they come straight out of a video game, slashing .402/.531/.819 with 23 home runs and 63 driven in. Vaughn also walked (44) more than twice as many times as he struck out (18) with one of the better overall approaches in all of college baseball. He’s a solid all-around prospect, as his arm strength allowed him to make 10 relief appearances as a freshman and one more as a sophomore, and that arm strength, along with his athleticism, gives him some positional versatility moving forward.

Second Base
Chase Strumpf, UCLA

Although UCLA didn’t advance, Strumpf was locked in during the postseason a year ago at the Minneapolis Regional, collecting eight base hits, five of which were doubles, in four games, particularly looking to drive pitches low and away to the opposite gap in right-center field. That approach served him well all season long, hitting .363 with 23 doubles and 12 home runs for a team that enters 2019 with aspirations of advancing to Omaha. If that happens Strumpf undoubtedly will be in the middle of the action, serving as the No. 3 hitter for an impressive lineup that includes Third Team first baseman Michael Toglia. Strumpf also committed only two errors all of last year as part of a Bruins defense that finished third in the nation in fielding percentage (.982), giving him one of the stronger all-around profiles among his All-American teammates.

Third Base
Josh Jung, Texas Tech

Looking even bigger than his listed 6-foot-2, 215-pound stature, Jung is an obvious, physical presence on the diamond, and he’s far from a one-dimensional slugger. He followed up his Freshman All-American season in 2017 with an overall All-American season in 2018, slashing .392/.491/.639 and finishing the year among the nation’s leaders in RBI with 80. Jung has an innate ability to make contact, walking more times than he struck out a year ago while using the whole field. His natural strength allows him to muscle balls out of the yard and his discipline allows him to rope two-out singles to the opposite field. Jung is fairly nimble on his feet for a big man with enough lateral quickness for the hot corner and a cannon for an arm on throws across. In Omaha, Jung had six base hits in 14 at-bats, five of which came against Florida’s deep staff.

Bryson Stott, UNLV

The entire starting infield on the First Team, including catcher Adley Rutschman, play baseball west of the Mississippi. While that in itself is unique, shortstop Bryson Stott comes from a more untraditional location (UNLV) as compared to his Pac-12 and Big 12 All-American infield mates. Stott enjoyed a productive freshman season before really ramping it up as a sophomore, hitting .365 with 37 extra-base hits – 30 of which were doubles – with 14 stolen bases and 32 walks as opposed to only 18 strikeouts. A lefthanded hitter, Stott is built tall and rangy at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds with prodigious power potential despite the fact that he has only hit five home runs during his first two years in school. That number could easily double, if not triple, during what is expected to be a big junior campaign, and a potentially a top 3-5 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Matt Wallner, Southern Miss

For as good as Wallner was at the plate last season, his numbers were just as loud, if not a little louder, as a freshman. Over two seasons at Southern Miss he has collectively slashed .343/.468/.637 with 35 homers and 130 RBI, an impressive model of consistency for a team that advanced to the postseason both years. An imposing athletic figure at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds, Wallner has five-tool upside with good range in the outfield – possibly enough to allow him to stay in center field at the next level – and a strong throwing arm. That arm strength has also served him well on the mound where he has reached the mid-90s in limited duty out of the bullpen. A lefthanded hitter, Wallner could be poised for an even bigger junior season and as result could be taken among the 2019 MLB Draft’s top 10 overall picks.

Bryant Packard, East Carolina

Packard finished just behind fellow First Teamer Adley Rutschman in the Division I batting race with a .406 batting average, with 30 extra-base hits, 14 of which were home runs, and 50 RBI while forming a potent middle-of-the-order duo with ECU teammate Spencer Brickhouse. The bat is Packard’s carrying tool, a pure hitter from the left side of the plate who has the ability to hit for both average and power while also taking his fair share of free passes at the plate. He routinely shows impressive power to the opposite field in left as a lefthanded hitter, able to wait back on pitches and drive them with authority to all parts of the field. While his profile is headlined by his bat, he moves well in left field and shows a very strong arm with the ability to make opposing baserunners think before trying to take an extra base.

Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks were among the nation’s most prolific scoring offenses last year and a pair of freshmen – outfielder Heston Kjerstad and third baseman Casey Martin – had a lot to do with that. Both players drew consideration for PG’s Freshman of the Year honors, an award that eventually went to First Team DH Spencer Torkelson. A switch-hitter in high school, Kjerstad now bats exclusively from the left side of the plate and posted some gaudy numbers during his rookie year in college with a .332/.419/.553 triple slash. Thirty of his 87 base hits went for extra bases and 14 of those left the ballpark. Kjerstad hits from a quiet stance before his bat explodes through the zone with impressive bat speed. He and Martin, along with junior outfielder Dominic Fletcher, return to once again lead the Arkansas offense in 2019.

Designated Hitter
Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State

It was a crowded field of talented freshmen in 2018, but Torkelson’s record-setting season allowed him to emerge as Perfect Game’s Freshman of the Year. Torkelson led the nation in home runs with 25 and finished the Pac-12 season ahead of Golden Spikes Award winner Andrew Vaughn in slugging, runs scored, total bases and home runs. He is also the No. 1-ranked prospect for the 2020 MLB Draft thanks to his overall offensive profile. Like the other members of the First Team, Torkelson is a well-rounded offensive player with a keen eye and a disciplined overall approach with the ability to hit for both average and power, and while he serves as Arizona State’s first baseman, he has the athleticism to effectively man a corner outfield spot as he did over the summer with Team USA and on the Cape.

Tristin English, Georgia Tech

English’s two-way talents have been well known dating back to his days in high school when he participated in the Perfect Game All-American Classic as one of the top prospects from the class of 2015. And for as productive as he has been as a run producer, it’s his talents on the mound that are expected to carry him further at the next level. For now, English continues to perform at a high level as one of Tech’s weekend starters and as their everyday first baseman. Tommy John surgery limited English’s time on the field early in his college career, but he returned healthy last season and responded with both a big spring and summer campaign. After hitting .279-6-60 for Georgia Tech in the spring he batted .300-5-19 in the Cape Cod League and tossed nearly 70 combined innings, his first time taking the mound in college since arriving.

Starting Pitcher
Andre Pallante, UC Irvine

Pallante quietly enjoyed one of the best seasons in the nation, with a 10-1 record spanning 15 appearances, all starts, and a 1.60 ERA. He did a nice job limiting baserunners, both in the form of base hits (77) and base on balls (30) in just over 100 innings of work. What Pallante lacks in ideal height as a 6-foot righthander he makes up for in pitching moxie, throwing a true four-pitch mix for strikes, getting good movement on all four of his offerings while pounding the lower quadrants of the strike zone. His fastball sits at 89-92 mph, peaking higher in the early innings and maintaining his velocity well deep into starts thanks to his repeatable delivery and sturdy lower half. His upper-70s to low-80s slider is his second best pitch, followed by a low-70s curveball and a changeup that hovers right around 80 mph.

Starting Pitcher
Kyle Brnovich, Elon

Brnovich and his rotation mate George Kirby gives Elon an exciting 1-2 punch at the top of their weekend starting rotation, which subsequently will draw quite a bit of attention from scouts during the spring as both are draft eligible in 2019. After going 6-5 with a 3.10 ERA as a freshman Brnovich pushed that up to another level as a sophomore, going 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 147 punchouts in 105 innings of work, cutting down both the number of hits he allowed and walks he issued in 15 more innings of work from one season to the next. He gets most of his outs by mixing and matching between his low-90s fastball that peaks around 95 and his signature slider. He also throws a changeup, giving him the requisite three pitches to start and be effective multiple times through an order.

Starting Pitcher
Kevin Abel, Oregon State

Abel’s two-hit shutout in the final, deciding game of the 2019 College World Series was nothing short of remarkable, particularly for a college freshman. He struck out 10 Arkansas hitters in that game, one day after he tossed a scoreless inning in relief to pick up the win in Oregon State’s unlikely come-from-behind win to force Game 3. He made four total appearances in Omaha, winning all four games and eliminating three opponents in the process: Washington, Mississippi State, and ultimately, Arkansas. In that time he allowed just two earned runs in 21 innings, striking out 23 along the way. Those performances capped a successful freshman campaign that understandably had its ups and downs for a young hurler, and by the end of the year he was effectively mixing and matching between three quality pitches highlighted by his low-90s heat.

Starting Pitcher
Mason Feole, Connecticut

UConn has a knack for developing promising lefthanded pitchers for the next level of baseball, and Feole is the next Huskies southpaw expected to be taken in the early rounds of this year’s draft. And he’s a fun pitcher to watch do his thing, with a high leg raise and an exaggerated over-the-top delivery that creates some natural deception to his delivery due to the moving parts involved. While he throws in the 88-92 mph range with his fastball regularly, and deep into ballgames, his go-to pitch is his big hammer power curveball thrown in the mid- to upper-70s. While he went 9-2 with a 2.50 ERA as a sophomore, and is 16-6 overall during his college career, improved command and continued development of his third pitch, a changeup, could go a long way for him having a big junior season.

Starting Pitcher
Drew Parrish, Florida State

Don’t let Parrish’s modest 5-1 record from a year ago fool you, he was one of the most accomplished weekend starters in all of college baseball, especially considering injuries to FSU’s other two weekend starters forced Parrish into an even more significant role than expected heading into the season. He made 16 starts spanning 107 innings, with an impressive 128-to-37 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The second of two lefthanders to be named to the First Team, Parrish is more akin to a prototypical crafty lefty with a smaller 5-foot-11 frame and upper-80s heat. He’s at his best sequencing between his fastball, his low-70s curveball and his mid-70s changeup. Parrish isn’t afraid to challenge hitters in any count with any of his three pitches, adding to his overall effectiveness, using his fastball nicely to set up his secondary offerings to induce weak groundball contact when he’s not recording K’s.

Relief Pitcher
Jack Little, Stanford

Stanford boasted quite the 1-2, left-right punch out of the bullpen last season between lefthanded set-up man Jacob Palisch and righthanded closer Jack Little. Little was downright dominant, with a 0.60 ERA in 25 relief appearances that led to 16 saves. He allowed just 26 hits and eight walks in 45 1/3 innings, striking out 58 along the way. And he was used more like a closer of old, going more than just the standard inning of work in 18 of his 25 appearances and going three (or more) innings five times. At 6-foot-4, 190-pounds he also looks the part on the mound with a lean, projectable frame that could add more strength. That could lead to more velocity as well, as he currently works in the low-90s, although the late run he generates on the pitch makes it that much more difficult to square up, much less connect with.

Relief Pitcher
Parker Caracci, Ole Miss

Carcacci’s background is particularly interesting, redshirting in both 2016 and 2017 before finally making the team last season following a dominant summer in 2017. At 6-foot, 200-pounds, he has a strong build with a sturdy lower half, driving off the mound to produce low- to mid-90s fastballs, peaking higher at times. He also throws a slider in the low-80s, using both pitches to miss an incredible number of bats: 73 in just 48 innings. The angle he creates to homeplate makes him that much more difficult to hit, as does his fearless, bulldog demeanor on the mound. Caracci was draft eligible as a sophomore a season ago but opted not to sign after he fell to the 37th round, and he is expected to post even bigger numbers considering he will enter the year firmly entrenched as the team’s bullpen stopper.

Second Team

Pos. Name School Class AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Shea Langeliers Baylor JR .252 .351 .496 49 57 18 2 11 44 4
1B Michael Busch North Carolina JR .317 .465 .521 70 76 10 0 13 63 8
MIF Will Wilson NC State JR .307 .376 .588 50 73 16 3 15 53 1
MIF Will Holland Auburn JR .313 .406 .530 61 78 18 0 12 52 9
3B Casey Martin Arkansas SO .345 .418 .556 50 87 14 0 13 49 8
OF Matt Gorski Indiana JR .356 .404 .554 41 79 14 3 8 40 24
OF Kameron Misner Missouri JR .360 .497 .576 36 45 9 3 4 25 13
OF Quin Cotton Grand Canyon JR .390 .482 .573 62 94 19 5 5 43 13
DH Kevin Strohschein Tennessee Tech SR .375 .433 .650 69 106 18 3 18 67 1
UT Kevin Milam Saint Mary's JR .302 .430 .455 31 57 12 1 5 29 1

Pos. Name School Class ERA W-L CG SV IP H SO BB OBA
SP Bryce Fehmel Oregon State SR 3.19 10-1 1 0 113 98 64 27 .234
SP Sean Mooney St. John's JR 2.56 11-3 0 0 95 74 104 28 .211
SP Mitchell Senger Stetson JR 2.51 9-2 4 0 93.1 66 114 28 .196
SP George Kirby Elon JR 2.89 10-3 0 0 90.1 88 96 27 .256
SP Patrick Fredrickson Minnesota SO 1.86 9-0 0 0 97 71 73 27 .209
RP Max Meyer Minnesota SO 2.06 2-3 0 16 43.2 25 54 13 .163
RP Matt Cronin Arkansas JR 3.54 2-2 0 14 48.1 25 59 14 .154
UT Kevin Milam Saint Mary's JR 3.68 6-4 0 0 85.2 77 81 25 .245

Third Team

Pos. Name School Class AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
C Patrick Bailey NC State SO .321 .419 .604 45 60 8 3 13 40 0
1B Michael Toglia UCLA JR .336 .449 .588 51 76 24 0 11 58 5
MIF Braden Shewmake Texas A&M JR .327 .395 .453 43 80 8 4 5 45 12
MIF Logan Davidson Clemson JR .292 .408 .544 60 73 18 0 15 46 10
3B Nick Quintana Arizona JR .313 .413 .592 49 66 17 0 14 55 0
OF Dominic Fletcher Arkansas JR .288 .338 .468 43 77 16 1 10 49 1
OF Wil Dalton Florida JR .262 .338 .542 60 72 18 1 19 60 8
OF Jake Mangum Mississippi State SR .351 .434 .479 63 101 22 3 3 33 14
DH Logan Wyatt Louisville JR .339 .490 .522 51 78 22 1 6 69 1
UT Matt Lloyd Indiana JR .275 .356 .458 36 66 15 1 9 41 2

Pos. Name School Class ERA W-L CG SV IP H SO BB OBA
SP Nick Bennett Louisville JR 2.84 8-2 0 0 73 54 72 27 .203
SP Noah Song Navy SR 1.92 6-5 5 0 89 55 121 41 .178
SP Cody Bradford Baylor JR 2.51 7-6 2 0 96.2 85 87 26 .240
SP Drake Fellows Vanderbilt JR 3.92 7-4 0 0 96.1 75 107 35 .217
SP Graeme Stinson Duke JR 1.89 5-1 0 0 62 43 98 19 .200
RP Jake Mulholland Oregon State JR 2.20 2-2 0 16 45 30 42 11 .194
RP Chris Mauloni Jacksonville SO 2.53 3-2 0 20 32 23 48 11 .197
UT Matt Lloyd Indiana JR 1.54 4-2 0 7 23.1 18 22 5 .212