When last we checked in on the aftermath of the MLB signing day, Vanderbilt had the #1 incoming freshman class, but the Human-Cowbell Hybrids at MSU, on the backs of their power righties, were not far behind.
The SEC is well-represented, as usual, with 11 schools ranked in the top 25. Nipping at Vandy’s heels is LSU, which ranks 2nd (14 commits, and 4 in the top 100) despite top target Bryce Turang signing with the Brewers at the last minute. Joining them in the top 5 is Clanga, which ranks 4th on the backs RHPs Carter Stewart and JT Ginn, who turned down the Braves and Dodgers, respectively.
Though JT Ginn et al are exciting prospects, Carter Stewart was the unquestioned gem. Though Stewart reportedly was unable to sign with the Braves due to a wrist issue (though the severity of said wrist injury is not wildly known, it appears it did cause the Braves to pretty much punt on their #8 pick, and present him with an offer so low, they knew he would not sign). Losing Stewart, as it appears more and more likely, drops Clanga’s freshman class to the middle of the pack in the SEC.
This not only impacts the product on the field, but must severely dampen the enthusiasm of the Starkville faithful. Imagine if Tyler Beede, as the rest of his class was moving into the dorms, pulled out and joined the Navarro College Bulldogs or some such nonsense. Sure, we would still have had a great class, but the wind would have been completely taken out of our sails, and we would then blame that Ancient Mariner who shot the albatross, and then all slowly die of dehydration only to return as zombies.
Shut up, I read things some times.
Meanwhile, the Gainesville Fightin’ Jorts just got a boost from two early enrollees: OF Jud “Hound-Dog Man” Fabian and RHP Nolan “Tater Chip” Crisp.
*Editor’s note: If you get the Fabian nickname joke, you are old.
BREAKING: @GatorsBB commit and premier OF Jud Fabian is enrolling early for the #Gators and will be on campus in January. Big news for Kevin O’Sullivan and #UF. Fabian is ranked 14th by @prepbaseball in the 2019 #MLBDraft class.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) August 17, 2018
Early enrollees in baseball have been a bit of a mixed bag, as for every Bryce Harper, there is a Chris Harvey. Still, this is a huge turn of events for the Jorts, as Fabian was likely to be taken in the first round of the ‘19 draft, and hence never make it to campus. Now, they’ll get him for three damned years. Prior to these two reclassifications by Fabian and Crisp, the Jorts had a class that caused me to write this:
Surprisingly low on the ranks is Florida at 13th, who is only bringing in 9 freshmen, with 2 ranked in the top 100 recruits. Florida wasn’t hit as hard by the draft as was Vanderbilt, but with an already smaller class committed, the 5 lost to the draft will likely be felt much harder.
Now, it’s still a small class, but they will likely have the top ranked freshman bat in the conference. That’s not nothing.
In Vanderbilt baseball alumni in the MLB news... the boys on the mound are legion.
More @VandyBaseball pitchers have started in @MLB this season than any other team in the country. Check this column for who they are, how they've done READ: https://t.co/vFPOKmcnVu #VandyBoys pic.twitter.com/Awqoh5ae8H— Mike Organ (@MikeOrganWriter) August 18, 2018
Finally, in Vanderbilt baseball incoming freshman news... though Kumar Rocker and Austin “Big Walnut” Becker are our blue-chippers, I continue to have an Austin Martin sized man-crush on third baseman Justyn-Henry “Ricky-Bobby” Malloy.
Look. At. This. Swing.
This was our last session this week. Hit 460 w 10 homers this year. Plus hit 300 with 3 bombs and 27 walks in the @FuturesLeague as you can see the swing is night and day. Good luck at Vandy there’s no doubt in my mind the success will continue @jhen_malloy pic.twitter.com/GVTWK4g6Fu— Steven Teel (@SteveTeel17) August 18, 2018