When it came to the All-SEC selections, Dansby Swanson was deemed unworthy of a first team honor. On Thursday, Baseball America rectified that mistake.
Swanson and starting pitcher Carson Fulmer were named first team All-Americans by Baseball America after leading Vanderbilt back to the College World Series. Swanson beat out LSU's Alex Bregman for top honors at shortstop, but the Tiger infielder, who followed Swanson as the #2 pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, still found a rightful home on the top team. Bregman slid to DH on Baseball America's roster.
The defending champions’ team leader, Swanson moved from second base to shortstop this spring and enjoyed his best year offensively. After hitting just three homers last year, he went deep 15 times this spring and also nearly doubled last year’s RBI total, improving from 34 to 62.
Fulmer has the power fastball, power curveball and fiery mound presence expected out of an ace. At his best, no pitcher is more dominant than Fulmer. The SEC pitcher of the year struck out a whopping 152 batters—compared to 46 walks—in 114 innings. On a pitching-rich Vanderbilt team, he’s the unquestioned staff ace.
Fulmer was joined on the first team by a familiar face - Illinois's Tyler Jay. The Commodores could wind up facing two more first-team pitchers this week in Omaha as well - Cal State Fullerton's Thomas Eshelman and LSU's Alex Lange.
Swanson and Fulmer's selections held true to the publication's preseason predictions, where both were first-team choices. Walker Buehler was also pegged as a first-team hurler back in February, but injuries kept him from fulfilling that promise in 2015. The Commodores will return to action on Sunday night when Fulmer and Eshelman face off in a battle of All-Americans.