College World Series 2014: Future MLB Standouts to Watch for in Omaha

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJune 12, 2014

Vanderbilt pitcher Tyler Beede throws to a Stanford batter during first inning of an NCAA college baseball Super Regional tournament game Friday, June 6, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

The 2014 College World Series features eight of the top baseball schools in the country, so it's no surprise to see the field loaded with talent sure to tear up the MLB in the coming years. 

This year's version of the MLB draft has already taken place, which means the top talent has already been decided and many early-round selections are still playing as their teams head to Omaha to decide the national champion.

There are simply too many future major leaguers to narrow down in one article, but here's a look at the very best players in the College World Series who will soon impact the next level. 


Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

If college baseball aces could start in the postseason as often as college softball pitchers do, Vanderbilt might run away with the College World Series simply due to Tyler Beede.

Vandy's Friday starter was picked in the first round of the draft for the second time in his career in 2014 when the San Francisco Giants selected him 14th overall. This time, it's looking like the junior is ready to take his talents to professional baseball—and soon to the majors. 

His fastball is already at an MLB level with speeds as high as 97 mph, and he can throw a slicing curveball along with an impressive changeup. If he can develop the ability to consistently find the strike zone, he'll be a starter in the Giants rotation within a few seasons.

Beede will likely start for the Commodores in their opener against Louisville, but he'll need a short memory from his last time out. He pitched in Vanderbilt's Game 1 super regional win over Stanford, but he was far from sharp, allowing six runs.

However, when he's on his game, Beede is virtually unhittable. Look for him to put that ability on display against the Cardinals.


Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Brandon Finnegan has been one of the nation's top pitchers for a few years now, but he's finally getting the recognition he deserves—due in part to TCU's resurgence.

Finnegan was well below .500 as a starter in 2013, but he showcased the pitching prowess to strike out sides in a flash and shut down the best of hitters. In 2014, he's been nothing short of dominant as his own offense has started to pick up the slack. 

Finnegan boasts a 9-3 record and a 2.12 ERA, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is a whopping 129-27. He's been on his game in the postseason. The most telling instance came in Game 1 of the Horned Frogs' super regional against Pepperdine, as The Kansas City Star's Pete Grathoff observed:

Finnegan was picked up quickly at No. 17 overall by the Kansas City Royals, and the left-hander will be one of their most important pieces to develop. Becoming a piece of the rotation is the ceiling for Finnegan, but with such great command over his fastball, he's likely more impactful coming out of the bullpen. 


Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia


Many players competing in Omaha will be vital building blocks for the teams that drafted them, but no one has more to prove entering the College World Series than Derek Fisher.

Not to be confused with the newest New York Knicks coach, who boasts the same name, Fisher is one of the many top sluggers in Virginia's lineup. He was selected 37th overall by the Astros in the draft earlier in June.

But some questions surround him. He's failed to hit above .300 in each of his three seasons with the Cavaliers, and a broken bone in his hand caused him to miss a lot of time in 2014. 

Still, there's reason to believe his hitting will translate to the MLB. He was on the radar years ago in the 2011 class before a sixth-round selection helped him decide to go to college. Since then, he's proved his ability to hit the ball even more—as told by a much higher selection this time around.

Virginia's lineup is filled with solid hitters, but no one is better than Fisher.