2020 Conference Wrap: SECFeatured
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 SEC, 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
You could certainly make a case for Ole Miss, which took care of Louisville to open the season and was an impressive 16-1 overall, but we’re leaning another 16-1 club in Florida. The Gators ended the COVID-shortened season as the No. 1 team in the land and had an outstanding marquee road series win over Miami on their resume. From a pitching standpoint, Tommy Mace (1.67) and Jack Leftwich (4.15) made up a strong one-two punch in the weekend rotation, while freshman lefthander Hunter Barco (1.40) was on the right track as a first-year player. Offensively, the Gators had some mighty intriguing pieces. Jacob Young, who was a hero in the Miami series, was hitting .450 with a 1.031 OPS and the freshman duo of Nathan Hickey and Josh Rivera were off to impressive starts, hitting .311 and .298, respectively, with Hickey having already hit four home runs. UF was well on its way to potentially competing for yet another national title before the season came to an end. Its accomplishments shouldn’t go unnoticed. Now, the Gators, which will be loaded again in 2021, get to open a brand new ballpark next spring.
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UPDATED TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
2. Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
3. Austin Martin, 3B, Vanderbilt
4. Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
5. Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
6. Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
7. Cole Henry, RHP, LSU
8. Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
9. Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
10. JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State