The roads to Omaha begin at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, site of the 2023 College Baseball Showdown. And with a field full of teams that opened the season with College World Series aspirations, the College Baseball Showdown also marks an important milestone on the road to The Show.
Powerhouse’s lineup includes three teams from the Big 12 Conference – Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas – and three from the Southeastern Conference – Arkansas, Missouri and Vanderbilt – featuring a variety of the league’s elite prospects.
2023 Baseball Showdown
Get ready for the first big weekend in the college baseball calendar with an introduction to some of the future major league players for the tight 2023 renewal cycle in Arlington.
Jess Borovin, Arkansas
Jess Borovin moved to Oklahoma midway through his first season with Arkansas, where he collected 10 games with 12 combined hits from early March to late April, and four straight games later in the campaign.
Bohrofen was injured and out of the lineup for a month, only returning for the NCAA Tournament, but look for him to come back strong.
“The guys are going to be looking for me to lead the team,” he said at the team media session Jan. 20, discussing returning as one of the team captains for 2023. Just baseball. Everyone has their own journey.”
Enrique Bradfield, Vanderbilt
An established star at Vanderbilt since his freshman season, Enrique Bradfield Jr.’s sack of just two seasons would be the envy of most college baseball players. He was named the 2021 SEC Freshman of the Year, a Collegiate Freshman All-American and an All-American across a variety of publications, all while helping Vanderbilt to a runner-up finish at Omaha.
336 in his first campaign and stole an impressive 47 bases. Bradfield remained the nation’s most powerful baserunner as a sophomore with 46 steals.
“I’ve seen guys with good stolen base numbers,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson to the Associated Press in May. “But none of this is automatic.”
Bradfield didn’t sacrifice his uncanny ability to connect while also showing more strength. It reached 0.317 last year and increased its domestic production from one to eight. Put it all together, and Bradfield will be among the top five draft prospects in this year’s draft.
Cam Brown, RHP, TCU
Cam Brown returns after posting a 5-2 record in 13 games with the Horned Frogs last season. He struck out 49 in just 53 innings pitched and accumulated an ERA of 4.42.
The 70 best project prospects were considered Fresh out of high school, Brown is poised to establish himself as an elite MLB college freshman in TCU’s rookie campaign.
Marcus Brown, SS, Oklahoma State
Playing primarily as a reserve his freshman season, Marcus Brown moved to the role of starting shortstop for Oklahoma State last season and hit . 316 with 15 doubles.
Brown’s defense may be his defining characteristic as a prospect, which is one reason America baseball cost him Among the average players this season with a chance to climb the drag boards.
Jack Bolger, OF/C, Vanderbilt
“The definition of consistency,” according to Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin, Jack Bulger showed some presence on the Commodores plate a season ago.
He was eligible for the 2022 draft but was not selected. As one of the veterans of Vanderbilt’s roster of national championship hopefuls, Bulger has the opportunity to greatly improve his standing in the 2023 draft.
Lucas Gordon, LHP, Texas
Lucas Gordon settled in well as part of Texas’ pitching rotation and earned All-Big 12 recognition as a sophomore. He struck out 77 in 16 starts for the Longhorns, compiled a 3.05 ERA and limited hitters to . 224 average.
Jacob Hasty, LHP, Missouri
LSU transfer Jacob Hasty brings experience to Missouri’s pitching rotation, working primarily out of the Tiger gang from 2020 to 2022. He struck out nearly twice as many batters as a walk-off he was given up one season earlier.
Hasty should have ample opportunity to bolster his stock as a proven arm in Missouri’s rotation, facing some of the toughest competition in the country with a challenging schedule ahead.
Charlie Hurley, RHP, Texas
Charlie Hurley transferred from USC to Texas in 2022 where he is the Trojans Champion. The 6-foot-8 right-hander hit 45 and finished with a 4.19 ERA.
I would like to announce my commitment to the University of Texas! Connect em🤘🏼 pic.twitter.com/lMOBWUnGkn
– Charlie Hurley (@charliehurley21) July 12, 2022
Reports of a falling ball Look for encouragement for Hurley to establish himself as a starter on Sunday, and potentially improve his stock as part of the impressive Longhorns team.
Nolan McClain, RHP & Utility, Oklahoma State
What can’t Nolan McClain do? Seemingly very little, the 2022 All-American made and played both on and off the field for the Cowboys. 992 OPS, hit a team-best 19 home runs and drove in 47.
On the mound, McClain limited hitting an average of 206 in 25 innings and one-thirds of work, while striking out 39.
MLB.com McLean ranks 82nd among the top 100 prospects for 2023.
Elijah Nunez, OF, TCU
A Big 12 All-Freshman selection in 2021 and an All-Big 12 honoree in 2022, Elijah Nunez has shone throughout his college career. He established himself as one of the best base stealers in the game as a sophomore with 31 saves, benefiting from a much improved batting average and overall ability to join.
287 last season, a jump from . 225 as a freshman, the next step in Nunez’s evolution on offense could shape his MLB outlook.
Patrick Riley, RHP, Vanderbilt
MLB.com Patrick Riley drafts into the top 80 in his 2023 class, though D1Baseball projected Riley would hit No. 11. His move from starting rotation in 2021 to primarily bullpen last season may explain the gap, but Reilly has the ability to throw his way. To the first round with a strong 2023 campaign.
Bryden Taylor, 3b, UCLA
Brayden Taylor isn’t just one of the top MLB prospects at the 2023 College Baseball Showdown: he’s one of the hottest prospects in the game this year.
TCU’s third baseman earned Freshman All-American recognition in 2021 after batting . 324 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI. As a sophomore, Taylor hit 13 home runs and increased his slugging percentage from . 572 to . 576.
Taylor is also a threat on base tracks with 25 stolen bases in his time as a horned frog. His speed and combined power are only part of what has him ranked 11th overall in MLB.com’s highly anticipated 2023 rankings — and that’s to say nothing of his defense.
😳🤯 @employee #SCTop10 | #FrogballUSA | #gofrog pic.twitter.com/dQ0JZh8Dvs
– TCU Baseball (TCU_Baseball) April 16, 2022
Juaron Watts-Brown, RHP, Oklahoma State
One of the most interesting prospects in the class of 2023 is Juaron Watts-Brown, a transfer to Oklahoma State from Long Beach State.
Earning Freshman All-American honors at Long Beach State, Watts-Brown struck out 45 times with a 3.70 ERA in eight starts this summer in the Cape Cod League.
Jackson Wiggins, RHB, Arkansas
Six-foot-six Jaxon Wiggins is ranked No. 55 on MLB.com’s Top 100 Draft Predictors of 2023, and he has room to climb. ESPN named him the third-best prospect among players eligible for 2023 last season’s College World Series, and with good reason.
He’s a hard-hitting flamethrower and can relieve, making four tackles for the Razorbacks in 2021, or start. He hit 82 last season and will look to fan more hits in 2023.
Tanner Witt, RHP, Texas
With 2022 looming due to injury, expect Tanner Witt to rebound in a big way.
Wit currently connected by MLB.com As a first-round prospect, No. 24 overall among 2023 prospects. He ranks ninth among all right-handers with a lot of potential to improve his standing should he dominate in 2023.