College Baseball At The Center Stage

Peyton Parks, Sports Editor

With Major League Baseball being in a lockout, college baseball is taking the reins and giving baseball fans an opportunity to see young talent you wouldn’t see otherwise.

College baseball has been MLB’s younger brother from pretty much the beginning. They’ve been within the MLB’s shadow for all this time.

Yet, only 23% of MLB players since 1965 have been taken straight from high school, which shows that many of the greats attended college and have been in the shoes of these young players.

With collegiate baseball always being in the background of the baseball scene, the amount of talent not being seen is absurd. While the MLB has the greatest players in the world, college baseball has some immense talent.

With college baseball season just beginning, we have already seen some insane displays of ability. From freshman Tommy White from NC state hitting 9 home runs within the first eight games of the season to junior Ben Joyce from the University of Tennessee lighting up the radar gun with a fastball ranging from 101-103 MPH.

Along with the great success of these athletes, ESPN+ has been broadcasting college games via their streaming service which was new in 2019.

ESPN streaming all of these games has increased the viewership of most of the teams. Last year the College Baseball World Series averaged 755,000 viewers a game.

The Major League World series averaged 11.5 million viewers a game. While there is a large margin, viewership has continued to climb.

In the first week of the season, the Southeastern Conference topped the attendance as Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU and Arkansas all had over 30,000 fans over the weekend cumulatively. Mississippi State and Texas both had opening week record attendances. From my understanding, this being from the MLB lockout.

In addition to big name TV media, the world of social media has really taken a liking to college baseball. Popular Twitter user Rob Friedman (@pitchingninja) has been Tweeting videos of different college players excelling at pitching.

His tweets are then seen by the MLB players giving the college athletes even more publicity.

With the social media publicity, the players are having fun with it as well. Vanderbilt shortstop Carter Young has been reposted by multiple MLB players such as Trea Turner and Dansby Swason. Swanson attended Vanderbilt university and Turner attended NC State.

Publicity can only help these athletes and help them get seen and push them into the next level.