Consolidated Weekly College Baseball Rankings – March 11, 2015

We’re trying something new at Prospect Junkies.  In years past we’ve done our own Top 25 ranking. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work.  However, as college baseball’s popularity continues to trend upward, the quality of coverage has also improved.  There are a number of sites that publish a Top 25 ranking and rather than duplicating an article with my own rankings that would differ only slightly, I thought it would be better to come up with an analytical system by averaging out the lists of some of the more highly regarded websites that cover the sport we love.

First, a few details on how the system works.  It’s quite simple, we’re taking an average of five industry leading websites (listed in the “Key” below) and consolidating them to form our Prospect Junkies rankings.  Some of the sites we selected rank 30 teams each week while others only rank 25 and we assigned those values to each website accordingly.  Each team that was ranked on at least one list is entered on the left most column. If that team was not ranked by a particular publication, they’re assigned the value of 31 as leaving it blank would positively skew the results.  Now that we have the math out of the way, let’s look at the rankings themselves.

Let’s start with our inaugural top ranked team, Virginia.  While lacking a signature series win, the 12-1 Cavaliers are led by premier MLB Draft pitching prospects Nathan Kirby (3-1, 0.71 ERA) and Connor Jones (4-0, 0.78 ERA).

As demonstrated below, Virginia’s superior ranking was far from unanimous, as Florida (14-2) and LSU (15-1) also received first place votes and TCU earned an average just six tenths of a point away from the top spot.

Vanderbilt (12-4), the defending National Champions, and consensus preseason #1 has battled injuries and not yet knocked off the winter rust, going 1-2 in last weekend’s Dodgertown Classic including losses to TCU and USC.           

Consolidated Weekly College Baseball Rankings
NCBWA
BA
PG
D1
USA Today
Average
PJ*
Virginia
1
3
2
3
1
2
1
Florida
4
2
1
1
3
2.2
2
TCU
2
4
3
2
2
2.6
3
LSU
3
1
4
4
4
3.2
4
Vanderbilt
6
5
5
5
5
5.2
5
Oregon
5
8
6
8
6
6.6
6
South Carolina
7
7
7
7
8
7.2
7
Texas A&M
8
10
10
6
7
8.2
8
UCLA
9
11
9
14
9
10.4
9
UCF
12
6
15
9
10
10.4
10
North Carolina
11
17
12
11
14
13
11
Rice
10
12
24
10
11
13.4
12
Louisville
18
13
8
15
15
13.8
13
USC
14
9
23
13
12
14.2
14
Texas Tech
13
14
18
24
16
17
15
Florida State
17
18
11
21
18
17
16
Mississippi State
15
15
22
22
13
17.4
17
Texas
16
22
19
18
16
18.2
18
Arizona State
20
16
25
12
19
18.4
19
UC Santa Barbara
23
21
14
17
21
19.2
20
Miami (FL)
19
19
13
31
20
20.4
21
Florida Atlantic
22
31
20
20
22
23
22
Houston
21
24
21
25
31
24.4
23
Maryland
25
31
31
16
23
25.2
24
Illinois
29
25
31
19
25
25.8
25
Oregon State
30
31
17
31
24
26.6
26
Dallas Baptist
26
20
31
31
31
27.8
27
Cal State Fullerton
31
23
31
23
31
27.8
28
Arkansas
31
31
16
31
31
28
29
Oklahoma State
24
31
31
31
31
29.6
30
Arizona
27
31
31
31
31
30.2
31
San Diego St.
28
31
31
31
31
30.4
32

Key
NCBWA
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association
BA
Baseball America
PG
Perfect Game
D1
D1Baseball.com
USA Today
USA Today Coaches Poll
PJ
Prospect Junkies Consolidated Rank
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2011 MLB Team Preview – Florida Marlins

Key Additions—Javier Vazquez, Omar Infante

Key Losses—Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin

Lineup—Hanley Ramirez will continue to be the best shortstop in baseball and absolute stud in the middle of this lineup. As long as he can get along with teammates and his manager, he will once again be an All-Star. The problem with this lineup is after him they will rely on their youngsters having big years. I am talking about their outfield of Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan, and Mike Stanton. If these guys can step up they give you a very good outfield to complement Hanley. Unfortunately the rest of the infield is very weak. Wes Helms has never blossomed into a hitter, and although Omar Infante was an all-star last year, that was a weak selection from the start. In a division where pitching is very strong from the contenders, I am afraid that young outfield will not be able to get the job done enough to allow this team to contend.

Rotation—Josh Johnson is a workhorse and absolute stud at the top end, and can be compared with the aces of any other staff. He will give you great outings nearly every time out and gives you a great chance to win every game. A big question is what Vazquez will give you? I think he will be good, like he was with Atlanta. He seems to thrive in the National League. Ricky Nolasco will settle in to be a solid #3 starter. At the back end, Chris Volstad and Anibal Sanchez provide you with good arms that should give you good consistency at the back end of the rotation. Although I don’t think this staff stacks up to the Phillies (who does?), I do think they are good enough to contend in this division.

Bullpen—The Marlins blew more saves last year (25) than any other team except for the Orioles. I will give them credit, they tried to fix it. But what did they do? They kept Leo Nunez as their closer, and added Randy Choate, Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb, and Mike Dunn. Nothing against these guys, but this bullpen will not get it done. I commend them doing an overhaul of their pen, but it is only a successful overhaul when you get guys who are better than what you had. Add this all up, and it means Josh Johnson and company is going to be seeing their great performances go down the drain once again. In the end, the pen will be the downfall of this team.

Impact Rookie—Matt Dominguez, 3B. The high school teammate of fellow first round pick Mike Moustakas, Dominguez possesses a glove that could play at an above average MLB level right now that could blossom into Gold Glove quality. He’ll have average power, but will struggle to maintain an adequate batting average unless he improves his plate discipline.

Outlook—I like the youth of this lineup, and think that outfield can be very good moving forward. I think this lineup is good enough to get the job done this year. And I love this rotation. You have dominant type pitchers, and guys who can give you tons of innings. But in the end, this bullpen will once again cause this team to falter. Last year the Marlins won 80 games although they blew 25 games. Granted you don’t lose all of those games, but that is such a huge number. It will happen again, and possibly cost this team a chance at postseason play.

Brad Koesters, MLB Correspondent



NL East Preview:

Atlanta Braves

Florida Marlins

New York Mets

Philadelphia Phillies

Washington Nationals