It’s that time of year again, everyone.
With the start of the 2023 college season mere days away, College Baseball Nation proudly follows up our 2023 All-America teams with our 1st and 2nd Freshman All-America squads. Once again, the big boys reign supreme with a whopping 54% (14 players) of our selections coming from SEC programs. And if you include the two Texas Longhorns on both teams—Texas and Oklahoma will join the SEC next season—and this figure rises to 62 percent!
Another interesting development this year is the “advanced age” of the top freshman. 15 of the players on these lists will be old enough (i.e. turning 21 prior to August 1, 2024) to be draft eligible next year as sophomores. How this development will affect each player remains to be seen. Perhaps some of them will fall in the ’24 draft because scouts believed that just two years on campus didn’t provide them with a lengthy enough track record against premium college competition. While others may take sufficient advantage of their two years on campus and full summer ball campaign to leave a lasting impression.
Malcolm Moore, (2024 draft eligible), LHH, Stanford—Polished 2-way catcher who impressed the Stanford coaching staff immediately after his arrival in Palo Alto and was one of the Cardinal’s top hitters by the conclusion of Fall Ball. Expect him to mostly DH in the early going.
Jared Thomas, (2024 draft eligible) LHH, Texas—Burgeoning power bat should shuffle between 1B and corner OF this spring. Could be one of three true freshmen in Texas’ starting lineup this spring.
Cade Kurland, RHH, Florida—A SS in high school who matriculated early, he’s on the verge of winning the starting 2B job. Has displayed the ability to consistently barrel premium velocity.
Gavin Kilen, LHH, Louisville—Yet another blue-chip recruit from the Upper Midwest ready to make his mark with the Cardinals. Will likely play 2B this year in deference to Christian Knapczyk, but should be Louisville’s full-time SS no later than next season.
Cam Smith, (2024 draft eligible), RHH, Florida State—Following a monster fall, one of the early favorites to win Freshman of the Year. Massive power potential to go along with a cannon arm.
Jace LaViolette, LHH, Texas A&M—The other early favorite to win Freshman of the Year. 6-05/220 behemoth who posted off-the-charts batted ball data throughout the fall and in preseason scrimmages.
Mason Neville, LHH, Arkansas—These types of 5-tool, middle-of-the-field players usually don’t make it to campus. Top-of-the-line speed is his best tool, but his bat has made huge strides in the last year.
Gavin Turley, RHH, Oregon State—The Arizona prep home run leader is expected to start from Day 1 for the Beavers after a huge fall campaign.
Paxton Kling, (2024 draft eligible) RHH, LSU—One of the more famous names to make it to campus due to his outstanding HS resume. Will have a hard time earning consistent playing time in the Tigers’ loaded lineup.
Andrew Dutkanych, (2024 draft eligible) RHP, Vanderbilt—At one point was considered a shoo-in to go pro but an uneven senior year prompted him to take the college route. Electric arm with plenty of physicality.
Jaden Noot, RHP, LSU—At 6-04/235, has the prototype power pitcher’s build and the stuff to match. Will likely serve in a relief role this season but should be a weekend starter by ’24.
Eli Jerzembeck, (2024 draft eligible) RHP, South Carolina—His fastball sits 93-95 MPH, his curve is easily plus, and at 6-03/185 he still has plenty of room to fill out.
Reese Robinett, (2024 draft eligible), LHH, Arkansas—Missouri native was the Razorbacks’ biggest surprise in the autumn as he paced the club in HR and SLG.
Anthony Silva, (2024 draft eligible), RHH, TCU—Dynamic talent should emerge as a top-of-the order threat and defensive force. Very possible he’ll see reps at the “6” as a freshman.
Gavin Guidry, (2024 draft eligible) RHH, LSU—Versatile infielder will ride a strong fall performance to garner plenty of ABs in a super-sub role in his first year on the Bayou.
Jalin Flores, (2024 draft eligible) RHH, Texas—Turned down multiple lucrative pro offers for the chance to become a Longhorn. Showcased impressive pop and a slick glove this fall.
Gage Harrelson, LHH, Texas Tech—Speedster has great feel to hit but needs to add strength to his 6-03/175 frame.
Dakota Jordan, (2024 draft eligible), RHH, Mississippi State—Gridiron and track star has the most physical projection of any player on either team but will have to cut down on swing-and-miss.
Nolan Schubart, LHH, Oklahoma State—Late commitment shift from Michigan to Oklahoma State should pay huge dividends for the Cowboys. 6-06/210 power plant features plus power and a mature hit tool.
Dylan Dreiling, (2024 draft eligible) LHH, Tennessee—A strong fall paved the way for his likely inclusion in the Volunteers starting lineup.
Tristan Smith, (2024 draft eligible), LHP, Clemson—Local product has wowed scouts since his early HS days with an effective 3-pitch mix, good command, and repeatable mechanics.
Chase Shores, RHP, LSU—6-08/240 mountain of a man. Throws mid-90’s heat and has gradually gained a better feel for his secondaries.
Levi Huesman, (2024 draft eligible) LHP, Coastal Carolina—Great feel for a 12-6 curveball and his fastball has gained velocity since his junior year of high school.