For the second time in the five-year history of the rankings, Vanderbilt tops the D1Baseball Preseason Top 25, powered by Louisville Slugger.
The Commodores also started the season ranked No. 1 in the inaugural D1Baseball Top 25 in 2015, and they finished that season as national runner-up. Vandy has ranked in the top 10 in four of the last five preseason rankings; last year it ranked 14th in the preseason, then went on to reach super regionals for the second year in a row. The ‘Dores return loads of premium talent and experience from the 2018 club.
Vanderbilt leads a group of five Southeastern Conference teams inside the top 10, and eight SEC teams in the Top 25 — more than any other conference. LSU starts the season at No. 2, followed by conferencemates Florida (No. 6), Georgia (No. 9), Ole Miss (No. 10), Mississippi State (No. 14), Arkansas (No. 16) and Auburn (No. 22).
No. 3 Texas Tech, No. 4 Louisville and No. 5 UCLA round out the top five. Seven of the eight 2018 College World Series participants head into 2018 in the rankings: Texas Tech, Florida, Mississippi State and Arkansas, plus No. 7 North Carolina, No. 8 Oregon State and No. 23 Texas. Oregon State beat Arkansas in the CWS Finals last June, and both teams enter 2019 in the rankings despite significant roster turnover.
After the SEC, the ACC and Big 12 placed the next-most teams in the rankings (five apiece), followed by the Pac-12 (three). The American Athletic, Big Ten, Sun Belt and Big West each placed one team in the rankings.