NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt received its second preseason top five recognition of the 2021 campaign, as D1Baseball tabbed the Commodores fourth in its Preseason Top 25 rankings Monday.
The still-defending College World Series champions were ranked inside the preseason top five by the publication for a second year in a row, after coming in at second in last season’s poll. The Commodores are among five teams from the Southeastern Conference in top 10, while the SEC placed nine of the league’s 14 teams inside the Top 25 to lead all conferences.
🆕 Preseason @d1baseball Rankings ⚾️
3. Texas Tech
6. Ole Miss
7. Mississippi State
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) January 18, 2021
Florida sits at the top spot in the poll, while UCLA (No. 2), Texas Tech (No. 3) and Louisville (No. 5) round out the top five. The trio of Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas joined the Gators and Commodores as the SEC schools in the top 10.
Vanderbilt registered a 13-5 record across the shortened 2020 campaign while closing out the season ranked sixth nationally. Despite losing an SEC-best four Major League Draft selections and two free agent signings from last year’s team, the program returns four players who were ranked among D1Baseball’s 2021 Top 150 MLB Draft Prospects — Kumar Rocker (No. 1), Jack Leiter (No. 2), Isaiah Thomas (No. 27) and Hugh Fisher (No. 51).
The Commodores bring in 17 newcomers — 16 freshmen and one transfer — who will look to make an immediate impact on the diamond. Vanderbilt’s 2020 recruiting class was tabbed as the third-best in the nation according to Baseball America.
The duo of Rocker and Leiter enter the new campaign as preseason All-Americans, as both were recognized by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game. The Commodores came in at second in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason poll, while ranking sixth in Perfect Game’s Top 25.
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) January 6, 2021
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) January 5, 2021
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) January 8, 2021