Baseball season nears closer, and with that thought in mind, the SEC released their Preseason All-Conference teams on Thursday.
Among those selected to the All-SEC First Team was 2017 Freshman of the Year, Braden Shewmake. The Texas A&M Aggies shortstop is coming off a fantastic freshman season, in which Shewmake hit .342 with 10 homers, 64 RBI, 39 runs scored, 16 doubles and two triples. Also making the squad are 2017 All-SEC First Teamers Grant Koch (Arkansas), Tristan Pompey (Kentucky) and Michael Curry (Georgia).
The rest of the First Team features quite a few notable names. 2017 Second Teamers Jake Mangum (Mississippi State), Brady Singer and Michael Byrne (Florida) all made it onto the Preseason First Team. In addition, Vanderbilt’s Julian Infante, Florida’s Jonathan India and LSU’s Antoine Duplantis did as well. Alabama second baseman Cobie Vance and Auburn starting pitcher Casey Mize also maneuvered their way onto the Preseason First Team.
The Preseason All-Conference Second Team features quite a few talented players, as well. Namely 2017’s Pitcher of the Year, Sean Hjelle. The Kentucky hurler had a 3.17 ERA with a 9-2 record a season ago, while posting a 1.90 ERA in SEC play as well. Is this disrespect towards the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Year? There’s certainly a lot of returning talent on the mound, but it’s hard to believe that the reigning SEC Pitcher of the Year is on the second team.
In addition to Hjelle, JJ Schwarz (Florida) and Jax Biggers (Arkansas) made the SEC’s Preseason Second Team. Schwarz and Biggers each made the 2017 Second Team as well. There is some youth movement on the Second Team as well. 2017 All-SEC Freshman Team selections Carlos Cortes (South Carolina), Zach Watson (LSU) and Dominic Fletcher (Arkansas) all found their way onto the All-Conference Second Team.
Additionally, Mizzou first baseman Kameron Misner, Kentucky second baseman Luke Becker and Texas A&M third baseman George Janca landed on the Second Team. Joining the aforementioned Hjelle in the pitcher slots were Arkansas hurler Blaine Knight and Ole Miss reliever Dallas Woolfolk.