The 2020 season was supposed to be a good one for the Arizona Wildcats, but after going 10-5 they saw that campaign cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another promising season is expected in 2021, and the various preseason rankings back up that belief.
Four major college baseball publications have the UA in their initial Top 25s, with three of them putting the Wildcats in the top 15.
Here’s how Arizona sits in those preseason polls:
- Collegiate Baseball: No. 10
- Perfect Game: No. 11
- Baseball America: No. 15
- D1Baseball: No. 22
The Baseball America ranking is Arizona’s highest to start a season since 2012, when the Wildcats began the year No. 5 and ended it No. 1 after winning the College World Series.
Here’s what that side had to say about the ‘Cats:
Led by an outfield of Ryan Holgate, Donta’ Williams and Mac Bingham, and with the addition of a standout recruiting class featuring catcher Daniel Susac, the Arizona lineup should continue to mash, even after the departure of Austin Wells and Matthew Dyer. The pitching staff has more to prove, but pitching coach Nate Yeskie is one of the best in the business, and the talent is in place for the Arizona staff to carry its own weight. Righthander Chase Silseth is a big arm who looks the part of a capable Friday starter and behind him, Garrett Irvin and Chandler Murphy will look to build on good 2020 campaigns.
Additionally, Baseball America ranks Arizona’s newcomers (freshmen and transfers) as fourth-best in the country.
A fifth preseason ranking could be in store when USA Today releases its Top 25.
Arizona is set to begin the 2021 season on Feb. 19 at home against Ball State for a 4-game series at Hi Corbett. As of now, fans are not permitted at games.