Feb. 17, 2021
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
.pdf version
SEC boasts eight first-team selections including Vandy mound mates
Bookmark and Share

DALLAS (NCBWA) – After a season shortened by COVID-19 and no NCAA Championship activity in 2020, the 21st annual NCBWA Division I Preseason All-America teams bring hope to student-athletes, coaches and fans awaiting the beginning of 2021 DI play Friday.

A two-time member of the NCBWA preseason dream team, Vanderbilt pitching ace Kumar Rocker returns from a 2019 season when he paced the Commodores to the latest NCAA title with a 12-5 record, 114 strikeouts in 99- plus innings and a first-ever NCAA Super Regional no-hitter against Duke.

After going 2-1 in 2020’s abbreviated action with a 1.80 earned run average and 28 strikeouts in 15 innings of work, the junior righthander headlines a stellar first team mound staff among the All-America selections.

The five starting pitchers on the top unit posted an impressive 13-1 mark (.929 composite winning percentage), struck out 140 opposing hitters in 103 1/3 total innings (12.2 strikeouts every nine innings) and number besides Rocker team aces Jack Leiter of Vanderbilt, Jordan Wicks of Kansas State, Zach Pettway of UCLA and Connor Prielipp of Alabama.

The first team relief corps put up equally impressive numbers with 22 saves in just 29 appearances and a pair of 0.00 ERAs by Oklahoma’s Jason Ruffcorn and Louisville’s Michael Kirian. Baylor’s Luke Boyd and Kirian each tallied six saves, while fellow standouts Tyler Grauer of Indiana State and Ruffcorn racked up five saves apiece.

In a shortened season played in primarily cooler temperatures, the first squad regulars, designated hitter and utility player had exceptional performances.

Outfielder John Rhodes of Kentucky batted .426 in 17 contests, while fellow gardener Grant Richardson sported a .424 hitting standard. Louisiana Tech slugger OF Parker Bates launched eight home runs with a whopping 28 RBI in 17 games to tie DH Wes Clarke of South Carolina and second team catcher Hunter Goodman of Memphis for top honors in that department. Playing in 18 encounters, Virginia 3B Zack Gelof added five home runs, while Florida OF Jud Fabian notched five homers and drove in 13 runs in 17 games among the first-teamers.

Utility player Davis Sharpe of Clemson hit a solid .311 in 13 tussles and was 1-1 in four mound starts with 20 strikeouts in 18-plus innings pitched to gain top squad honors in that multi-purpose category.

Previous NCBWA All-America teams from 1996-2020 also have featured the likes of 3B Kris Bryant of San Diego, P Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State, 1B Mark Teixeira of Georgia Tech, RHP Mark Prior of USC, SS-2B Rickie Weeks of Southern U., 3B Alex Gordon of Nebraska, P David Price of Vanderbilt, C Buster Posey of Florida State, C Mike Zunino of Florida, OF Andrew Benintendi of Arkansas, and 1B-P Brendan McKay of Louisville, among others. All told, there are 18 different conferences represented, along with players with 11 conference championship teams from the completed 2019 campaign. There are 21 schools represented in 2019 NCAA Regionals and numerous preseason conference players and pitchers of the year on all three NCBWA teams.

Pos. First Team School Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown
C Henry Davis Louisville 6-2 195 So. Bedford, N.Y.
1B Maxwell Costes Maryland 6-1 215 Jr. Baltimore, Md.
2B Austin Schultz Kentucky 5-9 200 Jr. Adams, Neb.
3B Zack Gelof Virginia 6-3 205 Jr. Rehobeth Beach, Del.
SS Cal Conley Texas Tech 5-10 185 r-Fr. Mount Carmel, Ohio
OF Parker Bates Louisiana Tech 6-1 205 Sr. Tyler, Texas
OF Jud Fabian Florida 6-2 190 So. Ocala, Fla.
OF Christian Franklin Arkansas 5-11 195 Jr. Overland Park, Kan.
OF John Rhodes Kentucky 6-0 200 So. Soddy Daisy, Tenn.
OF Grant Richardson Indiana 6-2 210 So. Fishers, Ind.
DH Wes Clarke South Carolina 6-2 236 Jr. Forest, Va.
UT Davis Sharpe Clemson 6-4 215 So. Dacula, Ga.
SP Kumar Rocker Vanderbilt 6-5 245 Jr. Athens, Ga.
SP Jack Leiter Vanderbilt 6-1 205 So. Summit, N.J.
SP Jordan Wicks Kansas State 6-3 220 So. Conway, Ark.
SP Zach Pettway UCLA 6-2 215 Sr. Long Beach, Calif.
SP Connor Prielipp Alabama 6-3 205 So. Tomah, Wis.
RP Luke Boyd Baylor 6-2 180 Sr. Ojai, Calif.
RP Jason Ruffcorn Oklahoma 6-2 215 r-Sr. Cedar Park, Texas
RP Tyler Grauer Indiana State 6-5 220 r-Sr. Shawnee, Kan.
RP Michael Kirian Louisville 6-6 235 Jr. New Riegel, Ohio
Second Team: C Adrian Del Castillo, Miami, So.; C Hunter Goodman, Memphis, So.; 1B Tanner Craig, Evansville, Jr.; 2B Brooks Carlson, Samford, Jr.; SS Drew Frederic, Troy, Sr.; 3B Rankin Woley, Auburn, Gr.; 3B Tim Elko, Ole Miss, Sr.; OF Parker Chavers, Coastal Carolina, r-Jr.; OF Dylan Neuse, Texas Tech, Jr.; OF Tyler Kelder, St. Bonaventure, r-Jr.; OF Bryson Worrell, East Carolina, Jr.; OF Alex Carballo, Kennesaw State, r-Sr.; DH Wesley Faison, Texas State, Jr.; UT Drew Gilbert, Tennessee, So.; SP Ty Madden, Texas, r-So.; SP Tommy Mace, Florida, Jr.; SP Zach Torra, UCSB, Jr.; SP Gunnar Hoglund, Ole Miss, Jr.; SP Hunter Barco, Florida, Fr.; RP Devin Fontenot, LSU, Sr.; RP Stephen Schoch, Virginia, Gr.; RP Kyle Mora, UCLA, r-Sr.; RP Micah Dallas, Texas Tech, So.
Third Team: C Caleb Bartolero, Troy, So.; 1B Kyle Manzardo, Washington State, Jr.; 2B Zack Raabe, Minnesota, Jr.; SS Matt McLain, UCLA, Jr.; 3B Cody Morissette, Boston College, Jr.; OF Owen Diodati, Alabama, So.; OF Chris Newell, Virginia, So.; OF Tanner Tredaway, Oklahoma, r-Jr.; OF Ben Anderson, Georgia, Jr.; DH Elian Merejo, Georgia State, Sr.; UT Alvin Melendez, Fordham, Sr.; SP Jake Kuchmaner, East Carolina, Jr.; SP Aaron Davenport, Hawaii, So.; SP Brett Walker, Oregon, Jr.; SP Cooper Stinson, Duke, Jr.; SP Jackson Wolf, West Virginia, Sr.; SP Jesse Bergin, UCLA, So.; RP Jaden Hill, LSU, Jr.; RP Kyle Brennan, Belmont, Jr.; RP Haylen Green, TCU, r-Sr.; RP Caleb Wurster, UConn, So.
Click here for .pdf version of release with complete player statistics

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, www.ncbwa.com. The preseason All-America squads are considered the first step toward the eventual selection of the 2021 Dick Howser Trophy presented by the Game Headwear and voted upon for 24 seasons by members of the NCBWA.

For more information on the NCAA Division I All-America team, contact NCBWA Assistant Executive Director Mike Montoro of West Virginia University at 304-293-2821.