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2020 Conference Wrap: Big 12

Analysis

It’s still hard to believe the 2020 college baseball season is over after just four weeks of play. Most conferences didn’t even reach league play before the coronavirus halted the season, so it would be pointless to give out any legitimate awards or draw any sweeping conclusions from our meager sample size. With that in mind, we won’t be releasing a 2020 All-America team, or naming a national Player of the Year or Freshman of the Year.

But informally, we can still take a look back at those first four weeks and highlight some players who stood out. Keep in mind that nonconference strength of schedules vary dramatically, and four weeks really isn’t a long enough period to even determine how strong a given schedule truly was. With those caveats out of the way, here are some superlative picks for the Big 12, which played four weeks of action and was slated to begin league play before the season came to a halt.

Some superlatives that we dissect:

  • Best Team
  • Most Surprising Team
  • Most Impressive Hitter
  • Most Impressive Pitcher
  • Best Senior
  • Best Freshman
  • More Fab Freshmen
  • Breakout Player
  • Breakout Pitcher
  • Top 10 2020 Prospects

Best Team

Texas Tech

The Red Raiders were off to their typical start to begin the 2020 season before it came to an abrupt halt because of coronavirus. Tech had a plethora of quality arms with righthander Clayton Beeter leading the charge. Beeter was having a great season for Tim Tadlock’s club, tallying a 2.14 ERA in 21 innings, along with 33 strikeouts and four walks. Bryce Bonnin had some good moments as well, while Mason Montgomery showed promise and Austin Becker showed big-time potential at times. With that said, the biggest attribute for this team was its bullpen with a loaded crop of arms. Micah Dallas was working his way back to the weekend rotation with outstanding numbers – just one walk and 23 strikeouts in 15.2 innings, while freshman Andrew Devine, returnee Hunter Dobbins and junior college transfer Jakob Brustoski were off to strong starts as well. Brustoski was a really intriguing arm. In addition to the solid numbers he tallied through four weeks, the big lefty also showed a fastball up to 96-97 mph.

The Raiders were primed to have yet another strong offensive campaign, too. Veteran middle infielder Brian Klein was hitting almost .400 through the first four weeks, while Cal Conley was an instant impact player and Dylan Neuse was off to a torrid start with a .355 average, a home run and 12 RBIs. Nate Rombach and Jace Jung had cooled off from terrific starts, but both showed huge upside the first four weeks of the season, and it would’ve been a surprise had the duo not been in the Freshman All-America discussion at the end of the season. Cole Stilwell had also taken a sizable step forward from an offensive standpoint.

All the pieces were there for Tech to make yet another run at the College World Series.

Updated Top 10 Prospects

1. Cade Cavalli, rhp, Oklahoma

2. Nick Loftin, ss, Baylor

3. Carson Seymour, rhp, Kansas State

4. Bryce Elder, rhp, Texas

5. Clayton Beeter, rhp, Texas Tech

6. Bryce Bonnin, rhp, Texas Tech

7. Levi Prater, lhp, Oklahoma

8. Kaden Polcovich, 3b, Oklahoma State

9. Zack Matthews, rhp, Oklahoma

10. Dane Acker, rhp, Oklahoma

 

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