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2024 D1Baseball Staff Bold Predictions

Season Preview

Every year, D1Baseball staffers look into their crystal balls and offer some predictions for the season ahead. Last year, we had a few big hits. Aaron Fitt, Joe Healy and Burke Granger all correctly predicted LSU would win the national title. Shotgun Spratling was the only staffer to pick LSU’s Paul Skenes to be the Pitcher of the Year, and Skenes swept all the major Player of the Year awards — which is the only reason his teammate, Dylan Crews, was denied. But Crews was the best position player in the country last year according to 6-4-3 Charts’ WAR statistics, and four staffers selected him as Player of the Year in the preseason: Kendall Rogers, Mark Etheridge, David Seifert and Healy. Etheridge made the best “breakout star” pick with his selection of Florida’s Jac Caglianone, who went on to earn first-team All-America honors. And Patrick Ebert made the best “sleeper” pick with his selection of Clemson, which was not projected to make our field of 64 in the preseason but went on to earn a top-eight national seed.

Here are our picks for the 2024 season. Out of the 11 staffers who participated in this exercise, four picked top-ranked Wake Forest to win it all, and four picked No. 3 Arkansas. Others receiving national title votes were Florida, Tennessee and Dallas Baptist.

Auburn and UC Irvine each received two votes for a sleeper team that begins the season outside the D1Baseball Top 25. Mississippi State, Rutgers and Creighton each garnered two votes for a sleeper team outside our preseason field of 64 projection.

Caglianone is the runaway favorite for national Player of the Year honors, garnering seven votes; the next closest contender was Wake Forest’s Nick Kurtz with two. For pitcher of the year, Wake Forest’s Josh Hartle and Arkansas’ Hagen Smith split the vote with four selections apiece, followed by Wake’s Chase Burns with two and ECU’s Trey Yesavage with one. Texas A&M’s Gavin Grahovac leads the way in the Freshman of the Year voting with four selections, followed by UCLA’s Roch Cholowsky and Florida’s Liam Peterson with two apiece. And 11 different players received one vote apiece in the “breakout star” category.

2023 D1Baseball Staff Bold Predictions

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