The Southeastern Conference baseball coaches got together and placed votes on how they see the conference shaking out this season. According to that poll, Ole Miss will finish third in the SEC West behind the LSU Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies.
Florida is picked to win the East, with LSU being the favorite to win the league title. Points were compiled on a descending basis for each division. The coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their own team and each coach was only allowed to vote for one team as an overall conference champion.
Third place in the West is somewhat high praise for a team replacing its Friday starter, its closer and an All-SEC catcher and centerfielder. On the other hand, the Rebels boast the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, a group led by utility man Thomas Dillard, shortstop Grae Kessinger and catcher Cooper Johnson. Mike Bianco told Rebel Grove’s Chase Parham last week that Johnson and Kessinger will be opening-day starters and Parham suggested on our podcast suggested that Dillard will get plenty of early opportunities in the outfield or at designated hitter.
The coaches also voted on the all-conference team Tate Blackman and Colby Bortles earned second-team nods. Tater hit .322 with 38 RBI and three homers last season while Bortles smashed 50 RBI and eight home runs.
Here’s the full preseason poll:
And here are the all-conference teams: