College World Series 2014: Top MLB Prospects on Display in Omaha

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJune 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

Numerous players selected in the 2014 MLB draft had little time to celebrate because the team they were still on was in the College World Series.

Eight teams remain in double-elimination play. Here are the best players on those eight teams to watch out for—they may be competing in another World Series soon enough.

5. OF Mike Papi, Virginia

Selected 38th overall by the Cleveland Indians

Pat Jarrett/Associated Press

Mike Papi isn't quite the size of Big Papi, but he has great size at 6'3", 210 pounds. And he fittingly leads his team in home runs.

Papi has hit 11 bombs this season. He also has a batting average of .311 and 54 RBIs. He's the best hitter on a talented Virginia team that scored 352 runs this season, fourth most of the teams remaining.

4. OF Derek Fisher, Virginia

Selected 37th overall by the Houston Astros


Yes, Commodores went back-to-back. Fisher is the last offensive player to make this list. And ironically, he isn't making it for his hitting. 

His batting average is just .285 this season. Fisher's strength this year has been his defense. He boasts a perfect fielding percentage entering the final rounds of the College World Series.

3. RHP Nick Howard, Virginia

Selected 19th overall by the Cincinnati Reds

Pat Jarrett/Associated Press

Yet another Cavalier makes the list, and even more would've made an extended version—they're stacked. Of the eight Virginia players taken in the draft, tying it for second behind Mississippi, Howard heard his name called first.

He serves as its closer and has 19 saves this season. Howard also has an ERA of 2.05, no doubt kept low thanks to his 98 mph fastball.

2. LHP Brandon Finnegan, TCU

Selected 17th overall by the Kansas City Royals

Finnegan doesn't look like a top MLB prospect. He stands at just 5'11", 184 pounds. But don't be fooled by Finnegan's lack of stature.

His 2.12 ERA isn't the best on the Horned Frogs, but his 129 strikeouts are. He racked up those Ks in just 97.2 innings of work. His fastball reaches the upper-90s as well.

Partly thanks to Finnegan, no team in Division I baseball allowed fewer earned runs this season than TCU which travels to Omaha, Nebraska boasting a jaw-dropping 2.19 ERA.

1. RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt

Selected 14th overall by the San Francisco Giants

In 2013, Beede finished the season with a 14-1 record, 2.32 ERA and 103 strikeouts. This year, his strikeouts are still in the triple digits, but he enters the College World Series with an 8-7 record and 3.58 ERA.

While Beede has been inconsistent this season, no player remaining was drafted higher. Which Beede shows up against Louisville could determine whether or not the Commodores advance. Vanderbilt still has a dominant pitching staff overall, though, having struck out more batters in Division I than all but two teams.

David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.


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