The National College Baseball Writers Association has already gotten into the act, naming its preseason All-America teams this week. Four players from the Big 12 were named to the team. Second baseman Ross Kivett of defending Big 12-champion Kansas State is the lone first-team selection from the conference. The others are West Virginia southpaw pitcher Herman Musgrave, a second-team selection, and outfielder Mark Payton of Texas and pitcher Preston Morrison of TCU, both named to the third team.
Kivett, a senior, was the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2013. He earned three All-America designations his junior season, in which he batted .360 and led the Big 12 in hits (94) and runs (57). He was named MVP of the Manhattan Regional in the NCAA Tournament last season, and last spring was drafted in the 10th round of the Major league Baseball Draft by the Cleveland Indians.
Musgrave, a returning junior starter for West Virginia, went 9-1 last season and had an ERA of 2.17 in 95.1 innings. His 2013 performance earned him Pitcher of the Year honors in the Big 12.
Payton had a hitting streak of 39 games last season for Texas and he reached base in 47 of the 50 games in which he appeared. The Texas senior finished the season with a .393 average to lead the conference, which ranked 12th nationally.
Morrison is a right-handed starter for TCU. The junior finished with a record of 7-3 and a 1.51 ERA in 107 innings in 2013. He was an All-Big 12 selection last season.
There also is news this week on the recruiting front in college baseball. Baseball America has come out with its ranking of the top 25 2013 college recruiting classes. The big 12 has four schools ranked among the top 25, headed by the Texas Longhorns at No. 2 behind Florida.
Oklahoma State is fourth, the program’s highest ranking, and Oklahoma’s 2013 baseball recruiting class ranks 10th, also the Sooners’ highest ranking since Baeball America first began ranking the recruiting classes in 2000. TCU is 17th.
Topics: Herman Musgrave, Kansas State Wildcats, Mark Payton, National College Baseball Writers Preseason All-America Team, Precton Morrison, Ross Kivett, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Longhorns, West Virginia Mountaineers