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CBD Column: Miami Baseball Needs to Return to their Glory Days?

What has happened to Miami Baseball?

The Hurricanes have not made a College World Series appearance since the 2008 team . That team featured Yonder Alonso, Jemile Weeks, among others, and was the number 1 team in the country for the majority of the year.

The problem was that Miami went a disappointing 1-2 in the College World Series, sending home the most talented team without a chance to play for the title.

Since that 2008 CWS appearance, Miami has an overall record of 155-88, finishing in third place in the ACC Coastal Division on three occasions, along with a fourth place finish. They have one Super Regional appearance in 2010 where they were swept by the Florida Gators.

So what is the problem?

One of the first issues with the Hurricanes starts with the school’s move to the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports. The school competed in the Big East from 1991-2004, but the baseball team was an independent. Once they moved to the ACC, the school lost their ability to schedule a large majority of home games at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. They also had to add long road trips to Blacksburg (Virginia Tech) and Chestnut Hill (Boston College) to their schedule. The Uniform Start Date in college baseball also hurt this team significantly. In the past, Miami (FL) started playing regular season games in late January against a Northern program every weekend until the start of the conference season. This gave them an inflated record when the post season came around.

The second issue is that the talent level has dropped off on their roster. They had 12 players from 2005-2008 go in the top three rounds of the MLB Draft, highlighted by the 2008 class. That class had three first round picks in Yoder Alonso, Jemile Weeks, and Carlos Gutierrez. Since that great class, they have had five players go in the top three rounds, with Yasmani Grandal being the only first round pick.

College baseball needs the Hurricanes to start to turn around their program, as they currently have 11 players in MLB and are consistently one of the top “name” teams. The four time CWS Champion and 23 time CWS participant needs to return to their glory days where they won titles in 1999 and 2001 but 2013 will not see them back in Omaha.