College World Series 2014: Viewing Info, Top Prospects to Watch in Final Game

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIJune 25, 2014

Virginia's Nick Howard prepares to pitch during the ninth inning of an NCAA college baseball regional tournament game against Arkansas in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Pat Jarrett)
Pat Jarrett/Associated Press

After splitting the first two games, the 2014 College World Series will end on Wednesday night, with either Vanderbilt or Virginia becoming national champions. The game itself will feature plenty of excitement, but it's also the last opportunity for some of the top MLB prospects to showcase their talent on the national stage.

The first two games between the Cavaliers and Commodores have featured plenty of runs, with Vanderbilt winning 9-8 in the first game and with Virginia staying alive with a 7-2 victory on Tuesday. Now, the last two teams remaining in the nation will be playing a sudden death game to win the NCAA championship.

Below is the viewing information for Wednesday night's big game, followed by a look at some of the top MLB prospects who will be playing.

Viewing Information

Date: Wednesday, June 25

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Time: 8 p.m. ET


Live Stream: WatchESPN

Top MLB Prospects

Nick Howard, RHP, Virginia

Selected No. 19 overall by Cincinnati Reds

Jun 9, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers infielder Nick Howard (33) pitches against the Maryland Terrapins at Davenport Field. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

With this being the last game of the season, the Cavaliers are likely not going to be afraid to work their bullpen if needed, and that likely means that we'll be seeing Nick Howard at some point during the game.

Howard has been a reliable relief pitcher this season, and it was a big reason why he was a first-round pick. In 35.2 innings pitched, he's had an ERA of just 1.77 with a 0.98 WHIP, 58 strikeouts and 20 saves. According to ESPNU, those 20 saves are an ACC single-season record.

At 6'4'' and 215 pounds, Howard has nice size for a pitcher with room to grow. He has a great fastball with plenty of late life that hitters struggle to catch up to. The rest of his pitches are pretty average, but his curveball could be a plus-pitch if he can work on being more consistent.

While he's not going to be a starter in the majors, Howard projects very well as a late-inning reliever. Paired with Aroldis Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds could have some promising relievers to shut things down once Howard finally makes his way to the majors.

Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Vanderbilt

Selected No. 130 overall by Detroit Tigers

Jun 23, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores pitcher Adam Ravenelle (12) throws against the Virginia Cavaliers during game one of the College World Series Finals at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Vanderbilt won 9-8. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA T

While Howard is one of the top relief pitchers for Virginia, Vanderbilt has a solid pitcher in the bullpen as well with Adam Ravenelle.

Ravenelle has made 23 appearances this season for the Commodores, posting a 1.42 ERA with 35 strikeouts while batters hit just .151 against him. While hitters have struggled to get to him, he wasn't always a prominent member of the bullpen, but Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin has been impressed with how far he's come.

"Rav has come a long way since he stepped on campus," Corbin said, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com. "He has always had very good athleticism and a clean, strong arm. He is now putting all of it together and becoming very skilled. There is a tremendous amount of consistency in his life ... his disposition, his investment level, his academics and now his performance."

Because of an ulnar nerve injury in 2012, scouts hadn't really gotten a good look at Ravenelle until this season. However, he's shown good stuff, throwing a solid mid-90s fastball and a plus-slider that give him a good two-pitch combo heading into the Detroit Tigers' farm system. As Chris Crawford from ESPN.com points out, Ravenelle fits the profile of a Tigers pitching prospect.

He'll have some work to do before he's ready to be moved into Detroit's bullpen, but the potential is there for him to succeed as a relief pitcher down the road.

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