Baseball America has released its Freshman All American list and two Vanderbilt Commodores made the cut.
Bryan Reynolds is the headliner here, as the freshman outfielder was rightfully recognized for his breakout freshman season and named to the First Team. In the first series of the year, while it looked like he might be platooning left field with Will Cooper, Reynolds put that thought to rest pretty much immediately.
In the first series against the Long Beach State Dirtbags, Reynolds batted .600 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI, effectively writing his name into the top third of the lineup in ink, and winning SEC Freshman of the Week" honors in the process. Though he didn't stay at a .600 clip all season (I know, we're all terribly disappointed in him), he finished with a monster .338/.395.480 slash line, leading the team in both average and slugging. Oh, and he caught pretty much everything hit his way and swiped 14 bases, to boot.
The Aluminum Foil was a key reason our boys get to spend the year staring into the glory that is the CWS trophy, and as unbelievable as it might seem, he's only going to get better. A .350+/.400+/.500+ slash line, and improved power numbers is actually a reasonable expectation for his sophomore campaign, where Reynolds will hold a weekly Battle Royale with Dansby Swanson for "The Man" honors and the right to our collective hearts.
Hayden Stone, the man we all grew to trust most with the ball in his hands by the end of the season, was named to the Second Team. For those, like me, who nearly had a brain hemorrhage trying to comprehend how he could possibly have not made the first team, it's important to point out that only one relief pitcher was named to each team. In short, Baseball America is effectively saying The Cold Stone K-Reamer was the 2nd best freshman reliever in all of baseball-dom. Though I still don't see the logic in ranking him below Miami's closer Bryan Garcia, as Stone bested Garcia in ERA (1.71-1.75), blew him out of the water in Ks (80-56), had a better BA Against (.197-.220), walked fewer (14-19), and lost an infinitely fewer games than Garcia (0-4). Of course, Garcia was Miami's closer, and Stone was buried by upperclassmen in the bullpen, so Garcia lapped him in saves at 15-3. Let's just say that's not enough reason for me, but I get it. What I continue not to get is why they devalue the RP position so much and only place one on each roster, but that's another argument for another time.
For the time being, strap on the Stone of Triumph and rock that Dirt Stache proudly this week, people, as surely everyone will get why you're doing that.
|FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA TEAMS|
|1B||Nick Pappas||College of Charleston||.269||.321||.406||197||33||53||5||26||3|
|SS||Garrett Hampson||Long Beach State||.300||.419||.389||203||34||61||1||47||21|
|OF||Austin Miller||Loyola Marymount||.374||.474||.451||206||46||77||0||18||25|
|UT||Alex Robles||Austin Peay State||.349||.444||.444||169||35||73||1||39||2|
|SP||Bailey Ober||College of Charleston||10||3||1.52||17||0||107||73||19||85||.192|
|UT||Alex Robles||Austin Peay State||6||2||3.63||16||0||84||97||20||56||.284|
|2B||Jake Noll||Florida Gulf Coast||.367||.416||.440||275||56||101||0||29||25|
|3B||Andrew Knizner||North Carolina State||.330||.373||.450||209||34||69||4||47||0|
|SS||David Fletcher||Loyola Marymount||.329||.362||.374||222||56||73||0||28||17|
|OF||Nick Banks||Texas A&M||.327||.386||.427||199||29||65||2||26||7|
|SP||Tyler Alexander||Texas Christian||10||3||2.36||20||0||99||88||11||59||.239|
|SP||Wil Crowe||South Carolina||8||3||2.75||15||0||92||76||19||59||.228|
|SP||Jared Poche’||Louisiana State||9||3||2.45||16||0||92||72||26||52||.222|