The last full work week before some time off for the holidays (always a crazy time) coincides with the impending due date of a grad school project or three, so I’m loading up on some relatively easy to produce content this week. I want to finish off the First Round “Locks” thing, but going through all the pitchers is such a daunting task that I think it ought to wait until I have a little more time/patience. Quick spoiler on that, just because: Sean Manaea is officially my endorsed candidate for first overall pick this year. His picture on the sidebar was a bit of a giveaway — thanks to my pals at ISU for providing the great shot — and I think he’s in store for a junior season that will have us all wondering why he wasn’t the consensus top guy six months before the draft to begin with. More to come on that, obviously, but let’s get back to sweet, sweet schedule talk for now. Everybody loves chatting about logistics, right?
I have always loved doing college prospect previews and never seem to get to nearly as many teams as I’d like, so this year I’m making a point to highlight some of the more interesting non-traditional baseball schools across the country. These schools may not have quite the depth of talent as some of the big boys in the college scene, but, if following the draft over the years has taught me anything, there are good prospects to be found scattered across the land. If you’re a fan of a a big-time program and/or just want to hear about the best and the brightest prospects out there (really can’t blame you for that, by the way), then don’t worry: the Vanderbilts, Floridas, North Carolinas, Stanfords, UCLAs, and, yeah, Louisvilles will be profiled before long. Until then, however, we’ll shine the light on some of the players that too often are ignored by the “eh, I’m a prospect expert who feels like covering the draft from mid-May to early June” types who can’t be bothered with any non-first round pick caliber players.
The schools I picked were completely random. Normally I scan down my Word document and just go from Page 1 until I run out of time — long-time readers might now realize that my Word doc starts with the ACC schools, hence the heavy exposure of those lucky schools over the years — but this year it made sense to spread the love a little bit. As always, requests are welcomed…the ability to honor reader requests is one of the perks of the no pay, no boss setup. Here’s the current exciting schedule that I’m printing publicly in an attempt to force myself to honor my commitment:
Georgetown West Virginia
Cal Poly Cal State Northridge
(EDIT: I hate having to edit this just a few hours after originally publishing, but my inability to save as frequently as I should + a possessed computer that is compelled to restart for pointless updates every seemingly every other day = a few days worth of lost data. Not sure what happened to the autosave feature, but what’s done is done. All of the work I did on the four schools above is gone, as is the work done on next week’s schools (Northwestern, Portland, UNLV, Louisiana Tech, and Wright State). Since I’m venting anyway, I’m also pissed that my down arrow key snapped off a few weeks ago. That was a pain, but this morning the nub that let me still use the key popped off as well. You never realize how often you use that damn key until you no longer have the ability to do so. The minor setbacks may led to a change in schedule…I’ll try to stick with a team a day throughout the week, but I may mix up the teams. Going back and writing about teams I’ve already covered doesn’t sit well with me right now…eventually we’ll get back to the teams listed above, but I may need a few weeks to forget what I wrote about them originally so I can subsequently go back and enjoy writing about them again. I think I’ll just swap out new teams based on conferences. Schedule will be updated shortly to reflect the changes. Apologies to anybody who had their heart set on hearing about Georgetown’s prospects!)