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Aaron Fitt | | February 6, 2020

SEC baseball preview: Reigning champion Vanderbilt to have plenty of challengers in loaded conference

A look at the top college baseball matchups you don't want to miss before conference play

With three teams ranked in the top five of D1Baseball’s Preseason Top 25, seven teams in the top 11, and nine teams in the Top 25, the SEC race figures to be a heavyweight slugfest as usual in 2020.

Entering the season, everybody will be chasing reigning national champion Vanderbilt, which won the regular-season title by two games a year ago and then captured the SEC tournament title before making its run through the NCAA tournament. But fellow SEC East powers Florida and Georgia join the Commodores in the top five of the preseason rankings. In the West, Mississippi State and Arkansas tied for the regular-season crown in 2019, and they open this season ranked inside the top 10 along with Auburn, while LSU is nipping at their heels at No. 11. But six of the seven SEC West teams garnered preseason Top 25 rankings, and they figure to jostle for position all season long. Each of the teams outside our Top 25 also look improved, and each of them is capable of making noise this spring.

2020 IS COMING: Our preseason top 25 | The 2020 CWS field, predicted | 7 questions to be answered

The conference preview below includes the projected order of finish, preseason awards, top prospects and a team by team breakdown.

Projected standings

Bold indicates 2019 regional team, and records are from 2019. Teams are listed in order of projected 2020 finish.

Vanderbilt 23-7 59-12
Florida 13-17 34-26
Georgia 21-9 46-17
South Carolina 8-22 28-28
Missouri 13-16-1 34-22-1
Tennessee 14-16 40-21
Kentucky 7-23 26-29
Arkansas 20-10 46-20
Auburn 14-16 38-28
Mississippi State 20-10 52-15
LSU 17-13 40-26
Texas A&M 16-13-1 39-23-1
Ole Miss 16-14 41-27
Alabama 7-23 30-26

Projected Regional Teams (10): Vanderbilt, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, South Carolina
Player of the Year: Austin Martin, 3B, Vanderbilt
Pitcher of the Year: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
Freshman of the Year: Hunter Barco, LHP, Florida

Top prospects/impact freshmen

Asterisk indicates draft-eligible underclassman

1 Emerson Hancock RHP Georgia
2 Austin Martin 3B Vanderbilt
3 Asa Lacy LHP Texas A&M
4 Carmen Mlodzinski RHP South Carolina
5 Heston Kjerstad OF Arkansas
6 JT Ginn* RHP Mississippi State
7 Casey Martin SS Arkansas
8 Garrett Crochet LHP Tennessee
9 Tanner Burns RHP Auburn
10 Jake Eder LHP Vanderbilt
11 Cole Wilcox* RHP Georgia
12 Jordan Westburg SS Mississippi State
13 Daniel Cabrera OF LSU
14 Cole Henry* RHP LSU
15 Tommy Mace RHP Florida
16 Justin Foscue 2B Mississippi State
17 Jack Leftwich RHP Florida
18 Ian Bedell RHP Missouri
19 Alerick Soularie OF Tennessee
20 Zach DeLoach OF Texas A&M
21 Tyler Keenan 3B Ole Miss
22 AJ Labas RHP LSU
23 Trey Dillard RHP Missouri
24 Christian Roa RHP Texas A&M
25 Tyler Brown RHP Vanderbilt
26 Casey Opitz C Arkansas
27 Christian Scott* RHP Florida
28 Thomas Farr RHP South Carolina
29 Steven Williams OF Auburn
30 Bailey Horn LHP Auburn
31 Noah Campbell 2B South Carolina
32 C.J. Smith LHP Georgia
33 Ethan Smith* RHP Vanderbilt
34 Ryan Webb LHP Georgia
35 Jackson Leath RHP Tennessee
36 Hunter McMullen RHP Florida
37 Brannon Jordan RHP South Carolina
38 Cory Acton* 2B Florida
39 Chad McDaniel C Missouri
40 Brady Smith C Florida
41 Tanner Allen OF Mississippi State
42 Hugh Fisher LHP Vanderbilt
43 Tyler Gentry OF Alabama
44 Saul Garza C LSU
45 Coltyn Kessler C Kentucky
46 Chase Wallace RHP Tennessee
47 Bryce Miller RHP Texas A&M
48 Zebulon Vermillion RHP Arkansas
49 Anthony Servideo SS Ole Miss
50 Cam Shepherd SS Georgia
Asterisk indicates underclassmen who will be draft-eligible in 2021
1 Kumar Rocker RHP Vanderbilt
2 Jud Fabian OF Florida
3 Jack Leiter* RHP Vanderbilt
4 Gunnar Hoglund RHP Ole Miss
5 Christian Franklin OF Arkansas
6 Jaden Hill RHP LSU
7 Nick Pogue RHP Florida
8 Jonathan Childress LHP Texas A&M
9 Eric Cerantola RHP Mississippi State
10 Patrick Wicklander LHP Arkansas
11 Seth Halvorsen RHP/OF Missouri
12 Jacob Young OF Florida
13 Landon Marceaux RHP LSU
14 Kendrick Calilao 1B Florida
15 Ben Specht RHP Florida
16 Christian MacLeod LHP Mississippi State
17 Trae Robertson LHP Missouri
18 Doug Nikhazy LHP Ole Miss
19 Austin Schultz SS Kentucky
20 Chris Weber LHP Texas A&M
21 KC Hunt* RHP/OF Mississippi State
22 TJ Reeves OF Alabama
23 Garrett Wade LHP Auburn
24 Kevin Graham OF Ole Miss
25 Giovanni DiGiacomo OF LSU
26 Isaiah Thomas OF Vanderbilt
27 Camden Sewell RHP Tennessee
28 David Luethje RHP Florida
29 Tyler Ras RHP Alabama
30 Elijah Trest RHP Arkansas
31 Joseph Menefee LHP Texas A&M
32 Luke Murphy RHP Vanderbilt
33 Logan Britt* OF Texas A&M
34 Tate Kolwyck MIF Vanderbilt
35 Richard Fitts RHP Auburn
36 Ryan Bliss SS/2B Auburn
37 Brady Allen OF South Carolina
38 Cade Beloso 1B LSU
39 Will Bednar* RHP Mississippi State
40 Kason Howell OF Auburn
41 Connor Shamblin RHP Alabama
42 Chance Huff RHP Vanderbilt
43 Jacob Burton RHP Arkansas
44 Landon Jordan 3B Mississippi State
45 Wes Clarke 1B South Carolina
46 Hunter Rigsby RHP Kentucky
47 Brandon Smith RHP Mississippi State
48 Drew Baker RHP Auburn
49 Drew Bianco OF LSU
50 Randon Jernigan CF Georgia
1 Hunter Barco LHP Florida
2 Jack Leiter RHP Vanderbilt
3 Josh Rivera SS/3B Florida
4 Connor Prielipp LHP Alabama
5 Cade Doughty INF LSU
6 Hayden Dunhurst C Ole Miss
7 Nathan Hickey C/3B Florida
8 Spencer Jones 1B/LHP Vanderbilt
9 Brennan Milone 3B South Carolina
10 Robert Moore 2B/SS Arkansas
11 Drew Gilbert OF/LHP Tennessee
12 Brandon Sproat RHP Florida
13 Jonathan Cannon RHP Georgia
14 Nate LaRue C/RHP Auburn
15 Will Childers RHP Georgia
17 Derek Diamond RHP Ole Miss
16 Landon Sims RHP Mississippi State
18 Michael Polk RHP Georgia
19 Carter Young SS Vanderbilt
20 Jerrion Ealy OF Ole Miss
21 KC Hunt RHP/OF Mississippi State
22 Mo Hampton Jr. OF LSU
23 Hayden Mullins LHP Auburn
24 Zack Lee RHP Kentucky
25 Blake Adams RHP Arkansas
26 Ben Pedersen RHP Missouri
27 Zane Denton 3B Alabama
28 Peyton Pallette RHP Arkansas
29 Will Bednar RHP Mississippi State
30 Connor Walsh SS Ole Miss
31 Kamren James SS/RHP Mississippi State
32 Davis Rokose LHP Mississippi State
33 Michael Doolin RHP Vanderbilt
34 Ethan Anderson OF/INF/C/RHP Tennessee
35 Alex Milazzo C LSU
36 Brett Thomas RHP South Carolina
37 Tyler Nesbitt RHP Florida
38 Buddy Floyd 2B/SS Georgia
39 Hayden Travinski C LSU
40 Logan Tanner C/RHP Mississippi State
41 Zach Arnold SS LSU
42 John Rhodes INF/OF Kentucky
43 Sam Hliboki RHP Vanderbilt
44 Cole Stupp RHP Kentucky
45 Logan Britt OF Texas A&M
46 Owen Diodati OF Alabama
47 Peyton Chatagnier INF/OF Ole Miss
48 Jacob Hasty LHP LSU
49 Zack Morris LHP Arkansas
50 Evan Vanek RHP Texas A&M

Projected regional teams

Nine preseason top 25 teams made the SEC's projected regional teams, including Vanderbilt, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, LSU, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. For an in-depth report on each of the nine SEC programs, tap or click their coinciding links below.

No. 2 Vanderbilt
No. 4 Florida
No. 5 Georgia
No. 7 Arkansas
No. 8 Auburn
No. 10 Mississippi State
No. 11 LSU
No. 20 Texas A&M
No. 25 Ole Miss

To read the full, in-depth SEC conference preview and more team previews, check out

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