College Baseball Poll - Collegiate Baseball Newspaper
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2000
GEORGIA TECH NO. 1 IN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER (www.baseballnews.com) POLL
TUCSON, Ariz. Led by the return of all nine position player starters which formed an offensive juggernaut that hit .342 last year, fourth in the nation, Georgia Tech is the favorite to win the 2001 College World Series in Collegiate Baseball's pre-season Fabulous 40 baseball poll.
The Yellow Jackets, which captured the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships a year ago in rolling to a 50-16 record, also return four starting pitchers and welcome Stanford transfer Brian Sager, an extremely gifted righthanded pitcher who is expected to be a high draft pick next June.
The Yellow Jackets are so strong that seven players are expected to be chosen in the first five rounds of next June's Free Agent Draft. The genesis of this team began with a superb recruiting class in 1998 which was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
The heart and sole of this team includes high profile players from that class in 3B Mark Teixeira (.427, 18 HR, 21 2B, 80 RBI, 13 SB), voted Player of The Year by several outlets last year and reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of The Year, 2B Richard Lewis (.398, 4 HR, 17 2B, 52 RBI), SS Victor Menocal (.329, 13 2B, 39 RBI), RHP Rhett Parrott (8-3, 4.48 ERA, 81 K, 35 BB), and RHP Steve Kelly (8-2, 4.73 ERA, 80 K, 39 BB).
Experience will undoubtedly be one of the key ingredients with this team. Of the returning position player starters, only one spot (1B) will in all probability not be filled by a junior or senior. The pitching staff is overflowing with experience as well.
"On paper, we feel we have a very good team," said Georgia Tech. Head Coach Danny Hall, who welcomes back four starters who hit .382 or higher last season, four starters who hit 21 doubles or more, in addition to five who knocked in 50 or more runs. But as always, we must prove it on the field that we are what we appear to be.
"We do return every position player starter from last year and also welcome back OF Matthew Boggs who has recovered from Tommy John surgery last season. He might be the best leadoff hitter in the nation. He has good speed, leads the team in walks, hit by pitches and forces pitchers to go deep in the count. He is one of those pesky hitters who causes pitchers fits.
"Offensively, we have a chance to be very potent. As far as pitching, our number two, three and four starters are back from last year. In addition, we added a high profile pitcher in Brian Sager who did extremely well for Stanford last year. There is no doubt we have quality starters. Our pitchers in the bullpen also look strong.
The "Collegiate Baseball" Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season. (Top 40 Agate Follows)