The college baseball season is a little past the halfway point. While most of the talk has been about the upper classmen and their status for the upcoming amateur draft, it’s time to take a look at the outstanding performances by the freshmen players. Here are my picks for the all-freshman team.
C- Rhys Hoskins, Sacramento State: 35 G, .393, 11 2B, 8 HR, 38 RBI .442/.652/1.094
Hoskins is among the freshman leaders in batting average, home runs, RBI and OPS. He has two multi-home run games, two five-RBI games and he had a recent 15-game hitting streak where he went 27-for-64 (.422) with five doubles, six home runs and 19 RBI.
1B- Sam Travis, Indiana: 37 G, .329, 11 2B, 4 HR, 29 RBI .427/.493/.920
Travis, the Illinois Player of the Year last year, has been pounding the ball all season for the Hoosiers. Over a five-game span from March 30-April 6, he went 8-for-19 (.421) with a double, three home runs and 13 RBI. He also drew four walks, and now has 21 for the season, showing a good approach at the plate for a freshman.
2B- Trea Turner, North Carolina State: 35 G, .329, 6 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 39 SB .444/.425/.869
Turner plays third base for the Wolfpack, but I had to fit him in so I cheated here a little. He may be better suited for second base at the next level anyway due to his lack of power. His speed, however, is definitely not lacking as he leads the nation in stolen bases, and it’s not really close. He has had 12 multi-stolen base games and had five against Clemson on April 13. The 6’-1”, 175-pound burner has been in an otherworldly zone at the plate recently, going 15-for-29 (.517) with seven walks (.611 OBP) and 11 stolen bases over his last seven games.
3B- Matthew Katz, William & Mary: 39 G, .311, 9 2B, 8 HR, 42 RBI, .397/.534/.931
Katz is among the national leaders in RBI, and over a recent five-game stretch, went 10-for-23 (.435) with four home runs and 15 RBI, including a two-home run, seven RBI game against Richmond on April 10. Against top-ranked Florida earlier this year, he went 5-for-10 with a home run and two RBI over a three-game series.
SS- Andrew Daniel, San Diego: 36 G, .372, 13 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 27 RBI .422/.514/.936
Daniel has been one of the best hitting shortstops in the nation this season and has recorded a hit in 29 of his 36 games, including 18 multi-hit games. Over a recent eight-game hitting streak, he went 19-for-37 (.514) with five doubles and nine RBI. His 13 doubles show the kind of power he could develop as he matures.
OF- Michael Conforto, Oregon State: 33 G, .357, 7 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 51 RBI .423/.619/1.042
Conforto, second in the nation in RBI, has been knocking in runs in bunches as of late. He has 15 RBI over his last five games and now has 15 games with at least two RBI. He has also recorded a hit in 17 of his last 18 games for the Beavers. Just a freshman, he is already one of the premiere hitters and run producers in the country.
OF- Austin Cousino, Kentucky: 37 G, .353, 15 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 30 RBI 7 SB .415/.577/.992
Cousino has been one of the most exciting freshmen in the country for one of the best teams. He started his college career off with a 14-game hitting streak and has recorded a hit in 30 of his 37 games so far. He hit four home runs and drove in 10 runs over a five-game stretch between March 25-April 1. The left-handed hitting outfielder was a first-team All-American by Baseball America last season.
OF- Derek Fisher, Virginia: 35 G, .300, 8 2B, 8 3B, 5 HR, 34 RBI .407/.606/1.013
Fisher is tied for the most triples in the nation and his 21 extra-base hits rank near the top among all freshman. Over a recent six-game stint, he went 11-for-24 (.458) with three doubles, three triples, three home runs and 10 RBI. Went 4-for-6 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and seven RBI against Towson on March 28 and has been hit by a pitch nine times this season. One of the most exciting players in the country regardless of class.
DH- Chase Griffin, Georgia Southern: 34 G, .333, 6 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI .435/.658/1.093
Griffin is a catcher, but we’ll gladly use him at DH as he leads all freshmen in home runs and slugging. Started the season slowly, but over his last 21 games, is hitting .410 (32-for-78) with nine home runs and 24 RBI.
SP- Carlos Rodon, North Carolina State: 6-0, 1.38 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 75 K/19 BB, 65.1 IP
Forget comparing him to his fellow freshmen, Rodon has been one of the best pitchers in all of college this season. Ranking near the top in wins, ERA and strikeouts, the 6’-3”, 235-pound left-hander has dominated his opponents all season long. He struck out 10 over just four innings against Coastal Carolina on February 26, and had a season high 12 strikeouts, to no walks, in 6.2 innings against Virginia on March 31. His 10.3 K/9 and 4 K/BB ratios show the kind of power and command he has for such a young pitcher.
SP- Andrew Vasquez, UC Santa Barbara: 5-3, 1.82 ERA, 1.23 WHIP 66 K/31 BB 54.1 IP
The 6’-6”, 200-pound left-hander has been almost as impressive as Rodon this season. His command has got the better of him at times as he has walked six or more batters twice this season, but his 10.9 K/9 ratio is even better than Rodon’s. Had his best outing against Rhode Island on March 13, going seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits while striking out 12.
SP- Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt: 1-4, 4.64 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 44 K/11 BB 42.2 IP
While his overall numbers won’t blow you away, Young Beedah has been as impressive as anyone since being inserted into the starting rotation for good. Over his last four starts, he has a 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 26 K/6 BB over 24 innings. The only first-round pick from the 2011 draft not to sign, he is showing that his decision to make good on his commitment to Vandy was the right one.
SP- Travis Radke, Portland: 5-2, 1.49 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 48 K/16 BB, 48.1 IP
Radke, a left-hander, was named the WAC Player of the month for March after going 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA. He is among the leaders in the nation in ERA and WHIP, and is holding his opponents to a .157 average, tops in the nation for starters. Had a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven shutout innings against CSU Bakersfield on March 3.
SP- Benton Moss, North Carolina: 3-2, 2.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 58 K/16 BB 45 IP
Moss is a 6’-2”, 180-pound right-hander who has some serious power behind his pitches. His 11.6 K/9 leads all freshmen hurlers, and over his last three starts, has 27 strikeouts over 17.1 innings, good for a 14.1 K/9. Had a season high 10 strikeouts in six innings against Maryland on March 18.
P- Preston Morrison, TCU: 5-0, 1.36 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 33 K/6 BB 53 IP
Morrison picked up a win in his first collegiate appearance, tossing 3.1 perfect innings against Ole Miss on February 19. He ranks among the leaders in the nation in ERA and WHIP and also picked up a save tossing 3.2 innings against UNLV on March 30, allowing one run while striking out five.