The 2018 College World Series is upon us, and there has been no shortage of drama to get us to this point. The Super Regional rounds were filled with tight games and multiple deciding Game 3’s that came down to the wire.
In a tournament filled with talent, here is a list of the top 10 players to watch in this year’s College World Series.
10. Joe Wainhouse, Washington
The 2018 All Pac-12 selection is going to be playing a key role for the cinderella Huskies in this CWS. Leading the team in home runs and RBIs, Wainhouse will be instrumental in Washington’s ability to score runs. The senior infielder carries a .312 avg and has 19 HRs and 59 RBIs to go along with that. Ranking last of the remaining teams left in the tournament in terms of runs scored, Washington will undoubtedly have an emphasis on offense as they make their first appearance in the College World Series, and Joe Wainhouse is primed to play a big part in that.
9. Michael Byrne, Florida
As one of the best teams left in the tournament, there are a lot of standouts on this Florida Gators team, but perhaps none as important as closer Michael Byrne. The junior is Florida’s all-time save leader with 34 and is carrying a team-best 1.59 ERA this season. Byrne hasn’t shied away from the spotlight either, in game three of the Super-Regionals, Byrne came in and pitched 4 innings of scoreless relief in which he allowed only one hit to help send the Gators back to Omaha.
With all teams playing at their best, it pays to have a shutdown guy in the bullpen.
8. Josh Jung, Texas Tech
With one of the stronger pitching staffs in college baseball, the Red Raiders will be looking to put up runs early and there is nobody better suited on the team to do so than sophomore infielder Josh Jung. Jung is batting just under .400 this year with a batting average of .390 with 12 HRs and 78 RBIs.
If Jung can continue to stay hot and keep the Red Raider offense going, they will be a serious threat in this tournament.
7. Trevor Larnach, Oregon State
The junior outfielder has been a force at the plate all season. Larnach is currently batting .336 with 18 HRs and 68 RBIs. A 1st-team All-American selection by D1Baseball.com, Perfect Game and the College Baseball Writer’s Association, Larnach will surely be a focal point in the Beaver’s run at redemption from last year’s tournament.
6. Blaine Knight, Arkansas
The junior right-hander for the Razorbacks has been perfect up to this point in the season, with a 12-0 record on the mound. With a 2.84 ERA and a strikeout to walk ratio of 92:23, Arkansas will be leaning on him to put them in a position to win each time he is on the mound.
5. Elijah MacNamee, Mississippi State
One of the hottest hitters heading into Omaha, MacNamee has been one of the key reasons the Bulldogs have made it this far in the CWS tournament. Down to their last strike against a good Florida State team in the Regionals, MacNamee blasted a three run walk-off homer to send Mississippi State to the Super-Regionals, where he hit yet another walk-off home run to give his team a game one win over Vanderbilt. The junior outfielder will be looking to continue his hot streak to help the Bulldogs capture another World Series title.
4. Jonathan India, Florida
The SEC player of the year, and the fifth pick in the MLB draft, Jonathan India doesn’t need much of an introduction these days. The junior infielder is hitting .360 with 19 HRs and 47 RBIs. As one of the best players on one of the best teams remaining in this tournament, India will surely be a player to watch in the coming weeks.
3. Brady Singer, Florida
The third and final Gator on this list, the SEC pitcher of the year, Brady Singer who went 18th in this year’s MLB Draft will be looking to guide the Gators to their second straight College World Series. The Most Outstanding Player in last year’s tournament, Singer enters this year’s CWS with an 11-1 record and a 2.27 ERA. The junior right-hander has 98 strikeouts on the season opposed to just 19 walks. After dazzling in last year’s tournament, fans are sure to be excited about seeing Singer on the big stage once again.
2. Nick Madrigal, Oregon State
The fourth pick in this year’s draft, Madrigal headlines the returning starters from last year’s Oregon State team who many expected to see in the championship series before they collapsed against a gritty LSU team. Madrigal has been a tough out all season long, batting .397 with an OBP of .463, the junior infielder has struck out just five times all season long. As the Beaver’s eye up the championship that eluded them last year, Madrigal will be sure to lead the way for this Oregon State team.
1. Kody Clemens, Texas
Perhaps the most dominant tournament performance thus far, Texas’ Kody Clemens has been a monster for the Longhorns. Clemens is batting .356 on the year, with 24 HRs and 74 RBIs but his play has risen to another level since the start of this year’s tournament. Throughout the tournament so far, the Longhorn second baseman is batting .500 with 5 HRs and 11 RBIs. Three of those home runs came in the Super-Regional series against Tennessee Tech, a series in which he went 5-8 with the three homers. The Golden Spikes finalist will look to continue his dominance at the plate as he and the Longhorns try to finish what would be an incredible tournament run.