As we head into the start of conference play in college baseball, I got to thinking about the first time I attended a conference. I was about seven years old, and my parents dragged me along to some three-day event where adults listen to four-eyed people drone on for hours about this and that and all the hoopla in the world. As a child, I was demoted to the childcare room, where I drew pictures while making a friend named Sean. Think of it as conference play, but with a twist. Where Sean is now, I don’t know, but happy trails, good buddy. At the end of the weekend, I never wanted to attend a conference again, although I did want to know what a “delegate” was. In college baseball, there are nine more conference weekends to enjoy after the first is done. Luckily for me, my relationship with conference play evolved dramatically in the 20-plus years since. Thankfully, that allows me to provide you, dear Razzballers, with yet another Collegiate Corner update as non-con competition winds down on the weekends. We’ll open with a two-way star that’s setting the college ranks on fire, followed by updates on a handful of other draft hopefuls.

Jac Caglianone – Florida’s two-way star isn’t draft-eligible until 2024, but he’s making an early case for the No. 1 overall pick. Through the first four weeks of the college season, Caglianone leads the NCAA with 13 home runs and is slashing .408/.471/1.026 with 11 strikeouts against five walks in 85 plate appearances. The southpaw has been nearly as good on the mound, working to a team-low 1.77 ERA and 0.84 WHIP with 26 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 1/3 frames. Caglianone can dial it up to 98 MPH on the hill and sports two average secondaries that could easily develop into plus.

George Klassen – Minnesota’s flame-throwing right-hander has elite stuff, but it hasn’t translated into on-field production thus far. Klassen can routinely pump triple digits, but the command has yet to rear its head. In 13 innings this season, Klassen wields an 8.31 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 12.5 K/9, and 10.4 BB/9. It was better in 2022, but not much: 5.34 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 5.0 BB/9, 3.2 K/9. It’s clear the Big Ten is no match for Klassen when he’s locating, but that’s a big if for MLB brass. The secondary stuff (55-curve, 55-slider) is good enough to put him at No. 54 overall on MLB Pipeline’s top 100, but he’ll need to produce some quality outings to go in the top two rounds in July.

Dylan Crews – With fellow potential 1-1 candidate Wyatt Langford sidelined for a couple of weeks with a lower-body injury, Crews has the opportunity to stand out. He’s done so thus far, ranking third nationally with a .519 batting average through his first 17 games. That comes accompanied by five homers, seven doubles, 30 runs, 23 RBI, and twice as many walks (18) as strikeouts (nine).

Tommy Troy – Stanford’s standout shortstop hasn’t connected for a ton of long balls thus far in 2023 but is slashing .417/.553/.750 with two homers, six extra-base hits, 12 runs, and nine RBI through 47 plate appearances. He has drawn nine walks against six strikeouts. Currently projected at the back of the first round or in the second, Troy’s stock hasn’t shifted, but he’ll need to show some more juice during Pac-12 play to cement himself as a day-one selection.

Jacob Wilson This could very well be the best pure hitter in college baseball. Positioned at No. 7 in my preseason college top-15, Wilson is likely under-ranked. After hitting .358/.418/.858 in 2022 with a .278/.381/.389 cameo on the Cape, Wilson is hitting an otherwordly .459/.463/.739 this year. The lack of walks (three) and homers (one) in 16 games is the main area needing improvement, but he walked 25 times against seven strikeouts ALL SEASON last year, including 12 jacks, so who gives?

Yohandy Morales – Morales nearly made the cut in my top-15 and would have been at No. 16 if the board extended into the top 20. He brings as strong of a blend of hit and power tools as any college bat in the 2023 Draft, backed by a .354/.413/.631 line with five homers in 2023. Morales is a career .314/.413/.631 hitter with 34 big flies at Miami, backed by a 9.9 BB% and 21.5 K% – which honestly isn’t as high as you might expect given his relative power and healthy stroke. Morales should go in the first round barring injury or a significant uptick in swings and misses during ACC play.

Kyle Teel – Listed at 6-1 and 190 pounds, Teel looks even smaller when at the dish. But you wouldn’t know it when looking at his numbers. Ranked as the top college catcher in the draft ahead of Davidson’s Michael Carico, Teel has drawn 11 walks against just four strikeouts in his first 71 plate appearances. As a result, he’s slashing .492/.678/.695 while providing excellent defense behind the plate. Teel is on the bubble between the first and second rounds.

Travis Honeyman – I have yet to break down Honeyman, but that’s in large part to the fact that he hasn’t roared out to the same eye-popping start as some of his 2023-eligible peers. As a junior outfielder at Boston College, Honeyman entered the campaign as the No. 23 player on MLB Pipeline’s board. He has been relatively slow out of the gates, evidenced by a .283/.345/.491 slash line featuring one homer, eight extra-base hits three walks, and six strikeouts. That isn’t too shabby, but consider that he batted .329/.402/.506 with six homers, 11 walks, and 16 strikeouts all season in a full sample size in 2022 containing ACC splits. He’ll need to make good on his 55-grade hit tool, which is his calling card heading into the draft – if the 50-grade power isn’t going to show a substantial development.

That’s all for this week, Razzball fam! As always, I’m happy to take this conversation into the comments section or on Twitter, where you can find me @WorldOfHobbs.

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