Since we are eagerly awaiting the start of the 2009 College Baseball season, I thought I would do a weekly segment with users sending us questions about interesting topics about issues or teams. I will select about five questions every week to be posted with answers on Tuesday morning. You can send us your questions for next week by clicking here.
Do you think the MLB’s elimination of the Draft and Follow rule has hurt college baseball by forcing top players to sign before their senior season?
I think this has actually helped College Baseball actually. I really don’t like to see coaching staffs held as hostages until the first day of classes. We saw MLB teams working up to minutes before the first classes at the respective university to sign their draft picks. At least now, that decision is made much farther in advance of the season.
What team do you see winning the CWS this year? Who is your darkhorse?
My early favorite this year is North Carolina with their outstanding pitching and a very solid offensive lineup. My darkhorse is Michigan as they return Chris Fetter who should be one of the best pitchers in the nation but need to become more solid on offense.
After Charlotte, which teams do you think have the best chance at making a run in the Atlantic 10 in 2009? Also, are there any freshmen looking to make an immediate impact?
I love the 49ers and expect them to win the A-10 conference until some other teams start committing funds to building some nice facilities. I think that Xavier with Steve Brown (.350 average) and closer Jordan Conley (2-2, 10 saves, 1.19 ERA) leading them will have the best chance of winning the conference after the 49ers. The Rhode Island Rams are always a strong squad but will struggle as they lost a ton of offensive talent. We will have a full A-10 preview in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that.
What are your thoughts on the 2009 Missouri Tigers?
I really like the Tigers in the Big 12 this year with the strong pitching of Kyle Gibson. If he can become more consistent on the mound and become a top notch starter in the Big 12, there is no way that Missouri can’t win this season. They also return catcher Trevor Coleman and Aaron Senne who should lead the offensive side of things. I expect them to make a Super Regional this season. We will have a full Big 12 preview in the coming weeks.
How much success do you see John Pawlowski having with Auburn this season and in the future?
I think this year will be an “adjustment” year for the Tigers as they get used to the new coaching staff and the players will have to get used to the different coaches. Hunter Morris is still the heart and soul of the offense but baseball is a two way game and the Tigers will need to find some quality arms to eat up some innings this season. Coach Pawlowski is a highly regarded coach and should be able to bring the Auburn program back into national prominence.
As always, you can send your questions for inclusion in the next Question and Answer article by clicking here.