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April 10, 2008 12:00 am

Wait 'Til Next Year: College Weekend Preview


Bryan Smith

Kentucky has some of the most impressive statistics in the nation, but are the Wildcats really as good as their record indicates?

I could tell you a lot of things that would make you believe the Kentucky Wildcats should be the favorite in every series they play. They are hitting .351/.452/.579 as a team. Their team ERA is 3.16, K/BB 3.12, and K/9 8.54. They have three regulars hitting above .400, five regulars slugging above .450 and two players getting on base above a 50 percent clip. Overall, the 26-5 Wildcats have scored 298 runs and allowed 116. Yet they enter this weekend in Athens, Georgia as the underdogs.

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A trip to Austin will reveal the Huskers' true colors, Georgia slugger Gordon Beckham rapidly moves up draft lists, and the Gators continue their resurgence.

If we have developed a theme in previewing the weekend's college baseball action, it is this: every weekend provides a new opportunity to see if a program is for real. Last week, Florida survived its test by taking two of three games from Mississippi in Oxford. In contrast, Virginia did not, losing to N.C. State in Raleigh to suffer its first two losses of the season. While this format will tire itself out as conference matchups force every team to face its fair share of tests, we're not out of the woods yet--we need to see if this Nebraska team is real.

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August 28, 2007 12:00 am

Wait 'Til Next Year: Cape Cod League Prospects, Part One


Bryan Smith

The top 15 from the summer amateur league includes some with something left to prove next spring, and some whose stock in the 2008 draft is moving up.

The nation's best summer league earned its reputation in 2007, boasting depth that (outside of Team USA) the other summer leagues combined couldn't touch. However, it was a strange year for the league, as no one stepped up to be the easy pick for its top prospect, while most of the talent was confined to one team, Falmouth. Commodores coach Jeff Trundy emphasized it was merely the summer that the "stars aligned," and he doubted it would happen again.

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