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  • Reed Simpson

College Baseball Opening Weekend: 25 Takeaways




I watched a lot of College Baseball this weekend. For me, Friday night was the equivalent of Christmas morning. And opening weekend did not dissapoint. There were a lot of games to take in over the three days and I tried to follow as many of them as possible. Based on what I saw and heard, here are my 30 takeaways from opening weekend. I didn't do much analysis because its Monday night and this week is busy, but I'm sure I'll hit on many of these points in featured posts throughout the season. Enjoy.



1. Jeren Kendall is a budding superstar.

The Vanderbilt outfielder went 10-15 (.667) with 3 HR's, and 10 RBI's in three games.

2. Stanford and UNC might be back.

Both of these schools who were once regulars in Omaha are trying to find their way back to the postseason and both started out the year with impressive series wins.

3. Florida's pitching depth is unreal.

There are probably five first round draft picks littered throughout this staff... That is all.

4. The 2016 outfield class is the 2015 shortstop class.

Nick Banks, Buddy Reed, Jeren Kendall, and Corey Ray did not dissapoint this weekend at the premier position in 2016.

5. TCU might be the Big 12 favorite after all.

The brand new TCU roster was pegged by many as "one year away," but with Oklahoma State's woes, the Frogs might once again be the team to beat in the Big 12.

6. Big freshmen come up big.

Freshmen all across the country put up big numbers, more on the top 2 later.

7. Alex Lange might be better than last year, and that's scary.

Lange's velocity was up to 94 from the 91 he averaged a year ago. And his curveball is just as good.

8. SEC attendance record spikes.

Just google pictures from LSU, Arkansas and Alabama's opening weekend crowds.

9. Connor Jones is the real deal.

The UVA ace is trying to work his way into the top 5 of the 2016 MLB draft class and started on the right foot Friday night.

10. Florida, Vanderbilt, then who in the SEC?

The SEC has 14 teams who can possibly make the tournament this year and that kind of parity hasn't existed in the league before.

11. Coastal Carolina is going to win a lot of games in their sandbox of a ballpark.

Coastal Carolina was impressive this weekend in the tournament they hosted in Myrtle Beach and the team looks like its going to have an awesome year offensively in their hitter-friendly park.

12. North Carolina State has a lot of weekend rotation parts to figure out.

North Carolina State needs to figure out who can command the zone in their rotation and needs to figure out who is going to go toe to toe on friday nights with the big guys in the ACC.

13. Missouri State is real, but their starting pitching is not what it was in 2015.

Missouri State looked really good on opening weekend which is definitely a good sign. But their pitching staff lacks the high end stuff to win in the postseason, IMO.

14. Luken Baker and Nick Madrigal are the clear frontrunners for Freshman of the Year.

Both frosh impressed on opening weekend with TCU's Baker earning his first collegiate win and hitting his first collegiate homerun. Madrigal also impressed, hitting .421 (8-19) with 6 RBI's.

15. Missouri's, "Reggie McClain is Mr. February." --Courtesy of D1Baseball.com.

McClain has been the best pitcher in college baseball in the month of February over the last two seasons.

16. Duke is better than expected.

The Blue Devils got an impressive opening series win against top 10 California.

17. Nebraska, Michigan and Maryland are the teams to beat in the B1G.

No shock here.

18. Mississippi State was too highly ranked...again.

I'm done ranting about this. Yes, the talent is there. Its always there, but that doesn't mean this is a top 12 team.

19. Boomer White is back...this time its in Maroon, not purple.

The 2014 TCU hero made an Anakin Skywalker-esque turn to the dark side (Texas A&M) and hit a HR on the first pitch he saw (Cue a TCU fan cringing).

20. Can top teams (UVA, OSU, Cal) figure out their bullpens?

This is probably one of the more serious questions on this list and if these teams are going to compete in the postseason, they're going to have to lock it down.

21. Cal State Fullerton can pitch again, but the bats are gonna have to wake up.

Same story, different year. This team will find a way to win and will probably be in Omaha in June because... Fullerton.

22. Dallas Baptist may be as good as they were last year.

Yeah, I think so. This team has an edge to them. And pitching depth. And a cool intro video.

23. Arizona impressed as an underdog on the road against Rice.

New coach, no problem. Let's go to Houston and take down a top 25 ranked Rice.

24. Oklahoma State and Cal looked shaky.

Both teams lost to teams they shouldn't have, but its only week 1.

25. Weekend #2 should be even better.

Houston College Classic

Ole Miss vs. Louisville

Florida vs. Miami

and so on...




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