Although the 2020 College World Series was canceled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN still wanted to celebrate the baseball postseason that would have been.
Who is the best player of all time at every position in college baseball? We’re here to find out.
Voting will be available for each position for three days, and when it’s over, we’ll have a final lineup reveal.
Voting order is as follows: catcher, shortstop, second base, first base, third base, relief pitcher (all expired), left field, right field, center field, two-way player, left-handed pitcher and right-handed pitcher.
Players with an asterisk (*) are members of the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
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2006 NCAA baseball super regional: Game 1, North Carolina vs. Alabama, 9 p.m. (featuring Andrew Miller)
*Jim Abbott (Michigan)
Abbott won the Golden Spikes Award in 1987 when he also became the only baseball player to win the James E. Sullivan Award for outstanding amateur athlete. The 1988 Big Ten Player of the Year still ranks in the top 10 in Michigan history in wins (26, fifth) and ERA (3.04, seventh).
*Eddie Bane (Arizona State)
Bane is one of seven pitchers in Division I history to strike out at least 500 batters and is the only pitcher in Arizona State history to throw a perfect game. He posted a 0.99 ERA in 1972 — lowest in Sun Devils history — in a season in which he had a streak of 43 straight scoreless innings, tied for fourth-longest in D-I history.
*Floyd Bannister (Arizona State)
Bannister was a two-time All-American after leading Division I in strikeouts in 1975 (217) and in 1976 (213). He threw 186 innings in 1976, the most in Division I history, finishing with 19 wins (tied for third-most in Division I history) and a 1.45 ERA, the lowest by an Arizona State pitcher in the aluminum bat era, throwing a complete game in 17 of 25 appearances.
Andrew Miller (North Carolina)
Miller was Baseball America’s Player of the Year in 2006 after going 13-2 with a school-record 133 strikeouts and leading North Carolina to the national championship game. He finished his career with a program-record 325 strikeouts and is one of 10 Tar Heels with at least 25 career victories.
David Price (Vanderbilt)
Price starred in the 2007 awards circuit, claiming the Golden Spikes Award, the Dick Howser Trophy, the Roger Clemens Award and sweeping the national Player of the Year awards. He led the SEC with a 2.63 ERA and 194 strikeouts that season, the second-highest total in conference history.
*Greg Swindell (Texas)
Swindell was a three-time first team All-American and the Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year in 1986, and earned All-CWS honors after helping Texas to the championship game in 1984 and 1985. His 14 career shutouts are the most in Division I history and he’s the only pitcher in Texas history with 500 career strikeouts, also ranking third on the program’s all-time list with 43 victories.
*Frank Viola (St. John’s)
Viola is the only pitcher in St. John’s history to record two 10-win seasons, finishing his career with a 26-2 record and 1.67 ERA, fourth-lowest in program history. After leading St. John’s to the 1980 College World Series, where he picked up a complete-game victory over Arizona in the opener, he earned first-team All-American honors in 1981.
Barry Zito (USC)
Zito pitched all over Southern California during his collegiate career, with one season each at UC Santa Barbara, Los Angeles Pierce College and USC. He was a first team freshman All-American with the Gauchos in 1997, finishing with 123 strikeouts (second-most in program history). He was even better at USC in 1999, finishing as a first team All-American after striking out 146 hitters. Despite just one season there, he has three of the five 16-strikeout games in Trojans history.
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*Steve Arlin (Ohio State)
Arlin was a two-time first team All-American and the Most Outstanding Player at the 1966 College World Series after leading the Buckeyes to their lone national championship. He had 165 strikeouts in 1965 — a mark that still stands as the Big Ten record — and struck out a CWS-record 20 hitters in a game against Washington State that season.
Roger Clemens (Texas)
Clemens led the team in strikeouts during both his seasons at Texas and he’s one of five Longhorns to strike out 150 batters in a season. He threw a complete game in the championship game as Texas beat Alabama to win the 1983 College World Series.
*Kirk Dressendorfer (Texas)
Dressendorfer was a three-time first team All-American; in 1989, he went the distance in 15 of 23 appearances and was tied for the Division I lead with 18 wins. He went 45-8 in three seasons in Austin, the second-most wins in program history, and his 462 strikeouts are third-most in Longhorns history.
*Don Heinkel (Wichita State)
Heinkel has the most wins in Division I history, finishing his career with a 51-11 record in 70 appearances. He helped lead Wichita State to its first College World Series appearance in 1982, but was the losing pitcher in the championship game against Miami.
*Burt Hooton (Texas)
Hooton was a three-time first team All-American at Texas and member of the CWS Legends team. His name is all over the Longhorns’ record book, where he finished with career records in ERA (1.14) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.9) and a single-game record 19 strikeouts.
*Ben McDonald (LSU)
McDonald won the Golden Spikes Award — and all the other national Player of the Year honors — after breaking the SEC record with 202 strikeouts in 1989. He threw 43⅔ consecutive scoreless innings that season, the third-longest streak in Division I history, and became the first baseball player to have his jersey retired at LSU.
Mark Prior (USC)
Prior claimed the Pac-10 Triple Crown in 2001, leading the conference with 15 wins, 202 strikeouts and a 1.69 ERA on his way to becoming USC’s only Golden Spikes Award winner. The Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year was the first in the conference to strike out 200 batters in a season, a list that only Trevor Bauer (UCLA) has joined since.
Stephen Strasburg (San Diego State)
Strasburg was a two-time first team All-American and won the Golden Spikes Award in 2009 after leading Division I with a 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts. His 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings that season were third-most in Division I history and came a season after he recorded a 23-strikeout game, tying for the most in a game since aluminum bats were introduced in 1974.
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Andrew Benintendi (Arkansas)
After hitting only one home run as a freshman, Benintendi won the Golden Spikes Award in 2015 after leading Division I with 20 home runs. He also led the SEC with a .376 average that season, becoming one of four SEC players — and the only Razorback — to lead the conference in home runs and batting average in the same season.
*J.D. Drew (Florida State)
Drew was a two-time first-team All-American and earned the Golden Spikes Award in 1997 after hitting .455, the fifth-highest mark in ACC history, and breaking the conference record with 31 home runs and 110 runs scored. He was the first player to hit three home runs in a College World Series game, and his five career homers in Omaha are tied for second most in CWS history.
*Tom Goodwin (Fresno State)
Goodwin was a two-time first-team All-American and led Division I in stolen bases in 1988 and 1989. His 164 career stolen bases are tied for ninth in Division I history, and he also tied for the D-I lead with 112 hits while helping lead Fresno State to the College World Series in 1988.
*Mike Kelly (Arizona State)
Kelly was a two-time first-team All-American and claimed the Golden Spikes Award in 1991 after leading the Sun Devils with a .373 average. He led Arizona State in home runs and RBIs as a freshman and sophomore, and his 46 homers are still fourth most in school history.
*Mark Kotsay (Cal State Fullerton)
Kotsay did it all for the Titans in 1995, winning the Golden Spikes Award and being named Most Outstanding Player at the College World Series; he had two homers and five RBIs in the championship game while also closing out the game on the mound. His .404 career batting average and .743 slugging percentage are the top marks in program history, and his 45 home runs are tied for second most by a Titan.
*Fred Lynn (USC)
Lynn was part of three national championship teams at USC and was selected to the 1971 College World Series All-Tournament team after going 7-for-15 in Omaha. He led Division I with 14 home runs on his way to first-team All-America honors in 1972.
*Oddibe McDowell (Arizona State)
McDowell won the Golden Spikes Award in 1984 after breaking the Pac-10 record with 101 runs. His 117 hits were fourth most in conference history. He led Arizona State with a .405 average, 23 home runs and 74 RBIs that season and wrapped up the year playing for Team USA at the Olympics.
*Rick Monday (Arizona State)
Monday played only one varsity season at Arizona State, but he made the most of it by leading Division I with 12 triples in 1965 and pacing the team with a .359 average and 11 home runs. He helped lead the Sun Devils to their first national championship, earning All-CWS honors after finishing with six hits and two home runs, including one in the championship game.
Programming schedule for June 27 on ESPN/ESPN App. All times ET.
2014 regular-season college baseball: Kentucky vs. Tennessee, 6 p.m. (featuring A.J. Reed)
2017 NCAA baseball regional: Louisville vs. Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (featuring Brendan McKay)
Todd Helton (Tennessee)
Helton threw an SEC-record 47⅔ consecutive scoreless innings in 1994, the second-longest streak in Division I history. He was even better in 1995, when he won several national Player of the Year awards while leading the SEC with 20 home runs, 92 RBIs and a 1.66 ERA.
Tim Hudson (Auburn)
Hudson won 15 games in 1997, tied for the most in Division I, to help lead Auburn to the College World Series. He also led the conference with 165 strikeouts that season and finished second with 95 RBIs, tied for seventh most in SEC history, to go along with 18 homers and a .396 average at the plate.
*Brooks Kieschnick (Texas)
Kieschnick was a three-time first-team All-American and is the only two-time ABCA Player of the Year (1992 and 1993). At the plate, he hit .360 over three seasons and is third in program history in both home runs (43) and RBIs (215); he paired that with a 34-8 record and seven shutouts as a pitcher.
Brendan McKay (Louisville)
McKay won the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award during each of his three seasons at Louisville and capped his career by winning the Golden Spikes Award in 2017. He led the ACC in strikeouts in 2016 and 2017, finishing with a school-record 391 in his career, while adding 28 career home runs and a .328 average at the plate.
Check out John Olerud’s 1988 highlights at Washington State, where he captured Player of the Year honors as a pitcher and a first baseman.
*John Olerud (Washington State)
Olerud went 15-0 as a pitcher while hitting .464 with 23 home runs in 1988, becoming the only player in Division I history with 20 homers and 15 wins in a season. His .434 career average is 22 points higher than any other player in Pac-12 history; that’s wider than the gap between the runner-up and the player in 10th.
A.J. Reed (Kentucky)
Reed won both the Golden Spikes Award and the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award in 2014 when he led Division I with 23 home runs, matching the most in a single season in Kentucky history. That season he became the only SEC player to lead the conference in wins (12), home runs (23) and RBIs (73).
*Brad Wilkerson (Florida)
In 1998, Wilkerson became the first player in Division I history to hit 20 home runs, steal 20 bases and win 10 games in the same season. The two-time first-team All-American reached base safely in a school-record 141 consecutive games from 1996 to 1998 and is the Gators’ career leader with a .381 batting average.
*Dave Winfield (Minnesota)
Winfield was a three-time All-Big Ten selection and in 1973 became the first Minnesota pitcher to strike out 100 batters in a season, while hitting .350 and adding 33 RBIs at the plate. Despite the Golden Gophers’ failure to reach the championship game, he was the Most Outstanding Player in the 1973 College World Series after striking out 29 batters and going 7-for-15 at the plate.
Seth Beer (Clemson)
Seth Beer was a two-time first-team All-American and in 2016 became the only freshman to win the Dick Howser Trophy. He led the ACC with 18 home runs in 2016 and 22 homers in 2018, becoming the first ACC player since J.D. Drew to lead the conference in home runs multiple times. His 56 career homers are tied for 10th most in conference history.
JJ Bleday (Vanderbilt)
Bleday was a consensus first-team All-American in 2019 after leading Division I with 27 home runs, breaking the previous Vanderbilt record by five homers. The SEC Player of the Year went 6-for-20 with five runs to earn All-CWS honors while helping the Commodores to their second national championship.
The College World Series has had numerous memorable moments, from a hidden ball trick to a walk-off title win in old Rosenblatt Stadium.
*Joe Carter (Wichita State)
Carter was a first-team All-American in 1981 when he broke the Division I record with 120 RBIs, a mark that still ranks fifth all time, in a season where he hit 34 doubles (tied for sixth most in D-I history) and 13 triples (tied for fourth most in D-I history). His .430 career batting average and .788 slugging percentage are both school records and in the top 20 in Division I history. His 312 RBIs are the fourth most by a D-I player.
Casey Close (Michigan)
Close was a first-team All-American and the Baseball America Player of the Year in 1986, when he hit .440 with 19 home runs and a school-record 72 RBIs. He hit 46 home runs and scored 190 runs in his collegiate career, both still Michigan records, and was a key piece in the Wolverines’ runs to the 1983 and 1984 College World Series.
Kellen Kulbacki (James Madison)
Kulbacki led Division I with 24 home runs and a .943 slugging percentage as a sophomore in 2006, when he was named Collegiate Baseball Co-Player of the Year. He’s the only player in CAA history to finish his career with 50 home runs and a .400 batting average, and he is the conference record holder with a .755 career slugging percentage.
Trevor Larnach (Oregon State)
Larnach was a first-team All-American in 2018, when he helped Oregon State to its third CWS title, going 15-for-36 with 10 runs and nine RBIs in Omaha. He finished that season with 19 home runs, 77 RBIs and 72 runs — all second most in school history.
Kyle Russell (Texas)
Russell is the most prolific power hitter in the storied history of Texas baseball, holding the school’s single-season (28) and career (57) home run records. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year and a Golden Spikes Award finalist in 2007 after leading Division I in home runs (28) and the conference in slugging percentage (.807).
*Mickey Sullivan (Baylor)
Sullivan is one of two two-time first-team All-Americans in Baylor history and is the only player in school history to hit over .500 in a season (.519 in 1954). He also spent 21 years in Waco as the Bears’ head coach, where he has the second-most wins in school history and was a five-time Southwest Conference Coach of the Year.