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College  | Rankings  | 1/9/2019

2019 Preseason College Top 25

Patrick Ebert      Mike Rooney     
Photo: Zack Hess (LSU Athletics)

Preseason All-American Team

With the release of the Preseason All-America teams, and now the Preseason Top 25, you know the 2019 college baseball season isn’t far away. Listed below is our first crack of the Top 25 teams, a list assembled by Perfect Game’s Patrick Ebert and Mike Rooney.

Selecting the No. 1 team this year wasn’t as easy as it had been in the past. From 2015-17, Vanderbilt, Florida and TCU were relatively easy choices, determined early in the process as the programs that would open the year on top. Last year there were a handful of programs that stood out, with the decision ultimately coming down to either eventual Preseason No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Oregon State, who of course went on to claim the national championship in Omaha.

This year there was a clear split between LSU and Oregon State, but in the end it was determined that the coaching consistency and the return of so many impact players created an ever-so-slight separation between the two clubs.

LSU is guided by Paul Mainieri, whose Tigers finished as the runner-up just two years ago with several familiar faces. Outfielders Antoine Duplantis and Zach Watson and staff ace Zack Hess were all drafted yet returned for another season. Shortstop Josh Smith and another starting pitcher, Eric Walker, missed most or all of the 2018 season due to injuries and appear to be ready to return healthy and strong.

Add in still-developing young talent and another strong wave of incoming freshmen and you have one of the deepest rosters in college baseball.

In addition to moving forward without Pat Casey, Oregon State had three of their players from a year ago – Nick Madrigal, Trevor Larnach and Cadyn Grenier – drafted in the first round in addition to losing several other key contributors. The lineup, outside of catcher Adley Rutschman, is mostly going to have a new look. However, led by CWS hero Kevin Abel, three-year starter Bryce Fehmel and closer Jake Mulholland, the pitching staff will be largely intact.

A case for the No. 1 team was made for each of the top nine programs. In addition to LSU, Vanderbilt and Florida return talented teams in the always-competitive SEC. The Pac-12 boasts three teams in the top seven with No. 4 UCLA and No. 7 Stanford joining Oregon State, as the West Coast in particular should be fun to follow during the 2019 season. North Carolina and Louisville (Nos. 6 and 8) and Texas Tech (No. 5) represent the ACC and Big 12 with Omaha-caliber clubs.

Of the teams that represent the Top 25 three did not make the postseason a year ago: No. 16 TCU, No. 19 Michigan and No. 23 UC Irvine. Look for each of those teams to enjoy significantly more success this year.

Stay tuned to Perfect Game leading up to the 2019 season for more detailed breakdowns of each of the Top 25-ranked teams as well as a look at the programs that just missed.

Breakdown by conference:

SEC: 8 teams (Louisiana State, Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, Georgia)
ACC: 5 teams (North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, NC State, Clemson)
Big 12: 4 teams (Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas Christian, Oklahoma State)
Pac-12: 3 teams (Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford)
American Athletic: 2 teams (East Carolina, Connecticut)
Big Ten: 1 team (Michigan)
Big West: 1 team (UC Irvine)
Sun Belt: 1 team (Coastal Carolina)

Similar to past years we will update the Top 25 team rankings every Monday morning during the regular season. Stay tuned to Perfect Game and be sure to Like Perfect Game's College Baseball page on Facebook and follow PG on Twitter for all of the latest information:

@PGCollegeBall | @PGPatrickEbert | @Mike_Rooney

 Rk Team '18 Record '18 Rk
2018 Finish
1 Louisiana State 39-27 NR Corvallis Regional
2 Oregon State 55-12-1 1 College World Series Champions
3 Vanderbilt 35-27 24 Nashville Super Regional
4 UCLA 38-21 NR Minneapolis Regional
5 Texas Tech 45-20 5 College World Series
6 North Carolina 44-20 4 College World Series
7 Stanford 46-12 10 Stanford Regional
8 Louisville 45-19 NR Lubbock Regional
9 Florida 49-21 3 College World Series
10 Mississippi 48-17 9
Oxford Regional
11 East Carolina 44-18 21 Greenville Regional
12 Baylor 37-21 NR
Stanford Regional
13 Arkansas 48-21 2 College World Series Runner-up
14 Florida State 43-19 17 Tallahassee Regional
15 Auburn 43-23 15 Gainesville Super Regional
16 Texas Christian 33-23 NR Did not make postseason
17 Mississippi State 39-29 7 College World Series
18 Oklahoma State 31-26-1 NR Deland Regional
19 Michigan 33-21 NR Did not make postseason
20 Connecticut 37-22-1 22 Conway Regional
21 NC State 42-18 20 Raleigh Regional
22 Georgia 39-21 19 Athens Regional
23 UC Irvine 32-24 NR Did not make postseason
24 Clemson 47-16 12 Clemson Regional
25 Coastal Carolina 43-19 NR Conway Regional

Others receiving consideration: Texas A&M, Minnesota, Cal State Fullerton