Bummed about how the last two weeks of negotiations in the MLB lockout played out? Me too. I just want baseball back. Luckily for me, my favorite college team- The Tennessee Volunteers, are good and have been over the past couple of years. As a result, I have found myself following college baseball more and more. This is my College Baseball Weekend Preview- Fantasy Baseball Edition to help guide you to the best games and prospects to watch.
This is a look at the prospects who will be drafted this year and next year mostly. Think of this as a fantasy baseball preview to your 2023 FYPD drafts.
How to watch: The ESPN app has tons of games. I have an ESPN+ subscription but most games you can watch through your normal cable/streaming service. Just log into ESPN and enjoy lots of games on SEC+ and ACC+.
College Baseball Weekend Preview- Fantasy Baseball Edition
Players to watch:
LSU Big 4 Hitters – Jacob Berry, Dylan Crews, Tre’ Morgan, Cade Doughty
If there’s one team that I try to find time to watch when looking for Fantasy Baseball prospects it’s LSU. These four bats are ridiculous to be all on one team. This is essentially the equivalent of a really good Minor League team with 4 top prospects. Jacob Berry and Dylan Crews in particular would probably be top 30ish prospects were they eligible right now. I could see Crews being even in the top 15 conversation right now. Berry is off to great start batting .344/.422/.711 with 4 HR. He’s in the conversation to be the first college bat off the board this Summer. Dylan Crews isn’t eligible until the 2023 draft class but he’s off to an incredible start nonetheless and you need to know him. He’s batting .485/.614/.879 with 2 HR and more BB that Ks. LSU also is playing in a tournament at the Astros stadium this weekend against Oklahoma, #1 Texas, and Baylor.
Tommy White, 1B, NC State
You can’t have a college baseball preview list right now without listing Tommy White, aka “Tommy Tanks.” The guy has taken college baseball by storm as a breakout freshman. Through nine games White is batting a ridiculous .538 with 9 HR in 39 ABs. He has 29 RBI as well. Everything he has been hitting has been leaving the yard it feels like.
Gavin Cross, OF, Virginia Tech
Cross is off to a hot start. He’s a projected top 10-15 pick in this Summer’s draft. He broke out a year ago batting .345/.415/.621 with 11 HR and 9 SB. He has continued that same stat line so far this year batting .316/.458/.632. The power has shown up yet but as you can see with that Slugging line he’s had 4 extra-base hits (2 triples and 2 doubles) in just five games.
Robert Moore, 2B, Arkansas
Moore is another project top 15 pick this Summer, also the son of Royals GM Dayton Moore. He’s off to a good start batting .360/.484/ .680. He’s a smaller player but has shown extra-base hit ability and some surprising pop.
Parker Messick, P, FSU
This early in the season when the competition has been slight, it’s tough to build too much draft status honestly. Messick though is a guy that has already boosted his value heading into the draft this Summer. He was already projected as a first round pick but has put himself in the conversation as the first college arm off the board. In 12.2 IP Messick has 24 Ks to 2 BB with a 0.71 ERA. Part of what makes this so impressive is some of his success came against Chase DeLauter and James Madison to start the season. He will start on Friday Night against California.
Landon Sims, P, Miss St.
Sims is transitioning from the bullpen to starting this year and has himself in the conversation as the first college arm off the board this Summer. He has been dominant with a blazing high 90’s fastball and wipeout slider. He has faded some down the stretch of games here early on so that’s something to watch. That and there are talks of a changeup that the two times I have watched him I am yet to see. Nevertheless he’s off to a great start. In 12 IP he has 17Ks with 2 BBs and a 1.50 ERA.
Kevin Parada, C, Georgia Tech
Parada might be the batter who has helped his stock the most so far. That’s saying something considering he was already projected as a top 20 pick. His bat is what will get him drafted more than his glove. I’ve seen speculation he may not stick behind the plate. It may not matter though where he plays if he hits like he has so far. His slash .514/.581/1.135 is unreal. He has 6 homers and 5 doubles through 9 games. He has a big matchup with Georgia this weekend that I’m excited to see how he handles.
Chase DeLauter, OF, James Madison
DeLauter was on the short list to go 1.1 coming into the year. He really struggled against three strong southpaws opening weekend at Florida St. Since then he has done nothing but mash the ball. His .460/.533/.811 slash line has completely erased that rough first weekend. I’m actually a lot more excited about his Tuesday and Wednesday games next week at Tennessee (I’ll be in attendance Tuesday night!) than this weekend. Part of the challenge with DeLauter this Summer is going to be getting a read on him when he’s facing such light competition. The rest of the way he has a couple matchups against Tennessee, VT, and Maryland. He has the tools but a real evaluation is going to be challenging.
Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly
Lee is also on the short list to go 1.1. Unlike DeLauter he will face good competition this year with the likes of Long Beach St., California, UC Irvine, etc. So far he has been unbelievable. He has 9 BBs to 0 Ks (yes, you read that correctly). His .500/.615/.767 line is incredible. He has 1 HR so far with 5 doubles. I saw Lee last summer in the Stars and Stripes game and he is built like a tank- all muscle. He could be the first bat off the board. He’s harder to watch but he needs to be included in the College Baseball Preview- fantasy baseball edition.
Jace Jung, 2B, TTU
Brother of Rangers now injured top prospect Josh Jung- Jace is off to a little bit of slower start. His plate discipline has been elite but he’s started the yar hitting just .208. There’s plenty of time for him to make this up and he showed some signs of life last weekend homering for the first time this year. He’s a projected top 10-15 pick this Summer.
Hunter Barco, P, Florida
Barco is a guy out of HS who had lots of buzz but has seen his stock fall a little over the last two years. He started the Stars and Stripes game I went to a year ago and I was very impressed that day. He’s built on that so far this season. Through 12 IP he has 23 Ks and 2 BB with a 0.75 ERA. He’s a rising arm and one to watch the rest of this spring as he navigates a stacked SEC.
Others: Jacob Gonzalez- Ole Miss*, Tanner Logan- Miss. St., Daniel Susac- Arizona, Tanner Witt- Texas*, Justin Campbell- Ok. St., Bryce Hubbart- FSU, Carson Palmquist-Miami, Brock Jones- Stanford, Peyton Graham- Oklahoma, Chase Burns- Tennessee*, Jordan Beck- Tennessee, Carter Young- Vandy, Enrique Bradfield- Vandy*, Jordan Sprinkle- UC Santa Barbara, Cayden Wallace- Arkansas, Jud Fabian- Florida, Dylan Beavers- California, Brock Wilken- Wake Forest*, Patrick Reilly*- Vandy, Christian Little- Vandy*, Jaxon Wiggins- Arkansas*, Carson Montgomery- FSU*.
*- Not 2022 draft eligible
Best Weekend Matchups:
Florida vs. Miami
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
Oregon St. vs. UC Irvine
Tennessee, LSU, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, UCLA in the Shriners College Classic at Astros Stadium
I hope this College Baseball Preview- Fantasy Baseball Edition has been helpful to guide you to some baseball and some fun prospects! For more fantasy baseball content follow Adam Tarver on Twitter @fantasybaseplus.