Baseball America has released its preseason all-american team.
A couple of notes-
David Berg is listed as the 2nd team relief pitcher, and is the only UCLA player listed. This after a 7-0 season, with 55 saves and a 0.92 ERA. And Berg pitched 78 innings in 51 games.
The 1st team relief pitcher is Nick Burdi from Louisville. He had a 0.76. But he was also 3-3, and only pitched 36 innings in 29 games.
I assume that All-American means biggest contribution to the team, not best pro prospect. We will see how this plays out. It is interesting also because David Berg was Baseball America's postseason 1st team relief pitcher in 2013. And Nick Burdi was not listed as an All-American 2nd or 3rd team pick.
For what it is worth, the similar preseason all-american team before the 2013 season had only 1 Bruin- Adam Plutko as a 3rd team selection. I do like the precedent of having one preseason all-american selection and then winning the title in Omaha. That would certainly be a nice pattern to get into.
In terms of the opposition, here are preseason all-american who UCLA will be facing-
NC State (March 1 away)- Trea Turner, 1st team SS. Carlos Rodon, 1st team SP (may see him depending on how NC State sets up their rotation for this round robin game 2)
UC Irvine (March 11 home, May 13 away)- Taylor Sparks, 1st team 3B
Arizona St (March 28-30 home)- Ryan Burr, 3rd team SP
Cal State Fullerton (April 8 away, May 6 home)- Matt Chapman, 2nd team SS. J.D. Davis, 2nd team utility. Justin Garza, 3rd team SP (would see him in the postseason).
Stanford (May 2-4 home)- Alex Blandino, 2nd team 3B
Oregon St (May 9-11 away)- Michael Conforto, 1st team OF. Dylan Davis, 2nd team OF.
I do not see the logic of dropping Fullerton's Thomas Eshelman, who was a 1st team all-american postseason as a freshman in 2013. The same goes for Oregon St's Andrew Moore, who was also a 1st team all-american as a freshman.
Suffice it to say, the Bruins have their work cut out for them this season. But there is nobody I would rather see leading the team than John Savage.
Go Bruins !!