Baseball America Announces 2009 Preseason All-America Team
Feb. 17, 2009
DURHAM, N.C.--San Diego State righthander Stephen Strasburg, who was the only amateur to earn a spot on USA Baseball's 2008 Olympic baseball team, leads Baseball America's college preseason All-America teams, released today.
Baseball America annually polls major league scouting directors to vote on the team and make their selections based on performance, talent and professional potential. In the past, the preseason All-America team has been a predictor both of the first round of the draft and of team success. For example, members of the 2008 first team made up eight of the first 12 picks in the draft last June. In all, 15 of last year's preseason All-Americans were drafted in the first round, and 11 of them played for teams that reached the College World Series.
North Carolina teammates Dustin Ackley and Alex White are the only repeat preseason All-Americans. Both moved up from last year's third team to this year's first team. Ackley, Strasburg, Southern California shortstop Grant Green and Tennessee outfielder Kentrail Davis received votes on every scouting director's ballot. Strasburg and Green were unanimous first-team selections. Davis and Alabama second baseman Ross Wilson are the only sophomores on the otherwise junior-dominated first team.
UNC, which opens the year ranked third in the nation, and second-ranked Louisiana State lead all schools with four All-Americans apiece. Second-teamers Kyle Seager and Matt Harvey join Ackley and White among North Carolina's contingent, while LSU is represented by second-teamers Ryan Schimpf and Blake Dean and third-teamers Jared Mitchell and D.J. LeMahieu. No other school has more than two All-Americans.
The Southeastern Conference placed 10 players on the three All-America teams, most of any league. The Atlantic Coast and Pacific-10 conferences were next with eight selections apiece. Four Pac-10 players landed on the first-team, which was twice as many as any other conference. Notably, Conference USA failed to land a player on any of the three teams for the first time since 1999.