As Spring Training gets underway and everyone eagerly awaits the start of the 2018 MLB season, the college season got underway on Friday.There were 141 games Division I games scheduled for Friday and 292 more set to take place on Saturday and Sunday.With so much baseball taking place this weekend
As Spring Training gets underway and everyone eagerly awaits the start of the 2018 MLB season, the college season got underway on Friday.
There were 141 games Division I games scheduled for Friday and 292 more set to take place on Saturday and Sunday.
With so much baseball taking place this weekend and throughout the college season, it's easy to get overloaded, so here's a quick breakdown of a few players to keep an eye on.
Draft prospects to watch:
Twenty four of MLB Pipeline's Top 50 Draft Prospects hail from the college ranks, including Brady Singer, the No. 1 Draft prospect.
Singer, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Florida, got off to a fast start this season as he fired seven innings of two-hit ball in the Gators' 7-1 win over Siena. Singer gave up one unearned run on two hits and a walk, while notching eight strikeouts. Not only is Singer one of the best pitchers in the country, but his teammate, Jackson Kowar, is also highly-regarded and checks in at No. 10 of the Draft Top 50.
Singer wasn't the only highly-touted pitcher to get off to a fast start in the Sunshine State. Shane McClanahan, the No. 5 Draft prospect, fanned 11 over six scoreless innings in South Florida's 4-3 upset win over No. 6 North Carolina.
Among those swinging the bats, Nick Madrigal (Oregon State), Griffin Conine (Duke) and Seth Beer (Clemson) are just three of several players worth watching this season.
Madrigal, the 11th-ranked Draft prospect, began his 2018 campaign with a 3-for-4 showing in Oregon State's 5-2 win over New Mexico.
Conine, the son of former Major Leaguer Jeff, is coming off a 2017 campaign in which he led Duke in home runs (13), RBIs (56) and slugging percentage (.546). The 19th-ranked Draft prospect began his 2018 season with a 1-for-2 game that included an RBI.
Beer, No. 27 on the Draft Top 50, has hit well in college posting a .333/.506/.651 slash line across his first two seasons. The junior has reached base in 120 if his 123 games and is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2018 Draft class.
Here are the rest of the college players in the top 50:
• No. 8 Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn
• No. 9 Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi
• No. 13 Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
• No. 14 Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama
• No. 16 Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson
• No. 18 Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech
• No. 23 Konnor Pilkington, LHP, Mississippi State
• No. 25 Greyson Jenista, OF, Wichita State
• No. 26 Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State
• No. 28 Luken Baker, 1B, Texas Christian
• No. 29 Tristan Pompey, OF, Kentucky
• No. 30 Tim Cate, LHP, Connecticut
• No. 34 Sean Hjelle, RHP, Kentucky
• No. 35 Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma
• No. 36 Jake McCarthy, OF, Virginia
• No. 46 Blaine Knight, RHP, Arkansas
• No. 48 Sean Wymer, RHP, Texas Christian
• No. 50.Steven Gingery, LHP, Texas Tech
Underclassmen to watch:
The following underclassmen have been named to USA Baseball's preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, which is annually given to the top amateur baseball player in the country. The complete list of players can be found here.
• Gianluca Dalatri, RHP, North Carolina
• Zack Hess, RHP, LSU
• Shea Langeliers, C, Baylor
• Drew Mendoza, 3B, Florida State
• Ryan Rolison, LHP, Ole Miss
• Braden Shewmake, 2B, Texas A&M
• Andrew Vaughn, 1B, Cal
• Matt Wallner, Utility, Southern Mississippi
• Zach Watson, OF, LSU
William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.