Every year, Baseball America puts on their respective Great Carnac turbans and opens the envelopes containing the 8 teams that will make it to Omaha in the following year.
A beaver, a weaver, and John Cheever.
With Vanderbilt losing it's best ever class (there is to be no debate on this, people), many would assume Vanderbilt would have a hard time making such a list, or even the less er "Eight More for Super Regionals" consolation prize. By many, I am referring to the delusional fans of the school to the East, LSU fans who have already booked their hotel rooms and told their bosses they'll be sick next June (and they are legion), or people who call "Pawwwwwwwwwwwwl."
I don't have to tell you about the plethora of talented players we will be losing to the minor leagues. Among others, gone will be top three round talents Dansby Swanson, Carson Fulmer, Walker Buehler, Phil Pfeifer, and Rhett "The Neck" Wiseman. However, as BA reminds us:
As we've learned in recent years, the Commodores don't rebuild—they reload. Few programs would be able to sustain the loss of their shortstop and entire weekend rotation and continue to perform at a high level, but Vanderbilt is set up to do so. Even without starting pitchers Carson Fulmer, Philip Pfeifer and Walker Buehler, the Commodores will be able to turn to lefthander John Kilichowski and righthanders Jordan Sheffield, Hayden Stone (coming off Tommy John surgery) and Kyle Wright in key spots. Outfielders Ro Coleman (who could move to second base), Jeren Kendall and Bryan Reynolds will be expected to lead of the offense. And Vanderbilt will bring in an impressive haul of freshmen, even after taking significant hits in the draft. Thirteen Vanderbilt commits made the BA 500, including righthander Donny Everett (No. 21), who could immediately step into the Commodores rotation after his strong commitment led him to last until the 29th round in the draft.
Book your hotel rooms, buy your RVs, and start coming up with nicknames for Donny Everett (suggestion: "The Element" i.e. "You're not out of your element, Donny!"), as we're going for three trips in a row! Hell, this might be the one time in recorded history when buying a time share is a good investment ("All you have to do is listen to this brief presentation, and you get two tickets to swim with the dolphins and a free toaster!). You know, as long as you can get those two weeks in June.
Wait a second, did they just say Ro Coleman will be expected to lead the offense? No. That must have been a typo. A frightening, frightening typo. They meant to type "Will Toffey, Penn Murfee, and any number of freshman phenoms for Corbin to choose from." Honest mistake. Probably just a keyboard slip.
D1Baseball's similar column is beyond a pay wall, so someone with more money than yours truly is going to have to tell you how we fared there.