Canes Ranked No. 5 in NCBWA Preseason Poll
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes picked up their fourth preseason top-5 ranking in advance of the upcoming 2020 season, checking in at No. 5 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason baseball poll.
The Canes will open the 2020 season with multiple top-5 preseason rankings for the first time since 2007, when they were ranked No. 2 by Baseball America, No. 3 in the Coaches’ Poll and No. 5 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association.
The Hurricanes enter the 2020 season as a consensus top-10 team. Miami also was ranked No. 3 by D1 Baseball, No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 5 by Baseball America, No. 7 by Perfect Game and No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The complete NCBWA preseason baseball poll can be viewed HERE.
Adrian Del Castillo and Alex Toral were named Preseason All-Americans by Perfect Game and D1 Baseball, while the duo was joined by teammates Brian Van Belle and Raymond Gil on the Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-America Team. Toral and sophomore right-handed pitcher Slade Cecconi earned spots on the Baseball America Preseason All-America Team.
A year ago, under the direction of head coach Gino DiMare, the Hurricanes won 41 games and returned to the NCAA postseason for the first time since 2016. The Canes earned the 46th postseason berth in program history and reached the Starkville Regional final before falling to No. 6 Mississippi State.
The Hurricanes went 18-12 in ACC play, winning seven conference series and turning in their best conference record since 2016.
Miami closed out the 2019 season ranked in the top 25 of every major poll, finishing as high as No. 19 in the final edition of the D1Baseball Top 25. Miami came in at No. 22 in the Baseball America Top 25 and No. 24 in Collegiate Baseball’s NCAA Div. I Baseball Poll. The Canes were also ranked No. 24 in the final NCBWA Division I Poll.
Four Canes were named All-ACC, including returners Del Castillo, Van Belle and Gil. Del Castillo was also one of 12 players picked for the 2019 ACC All-Freshman Team.
Del Castillo earned a litany of awards after his outstanding collegiate debut season. The Miami native was named a Freshman All-American by Baseball America, D1 Baseball and Perfect Game and was joined by right-handed pitcher Slade Cecconi on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Freshman All-America Team. Del Castillo was also named to the ABCA All-Region Team and was one of five Hurricanes named to the all-regional team at the Starkville Regional, joined by Gil, Van Belle, Toral and designated hitter JP Gates.
Toral led a powerful Hurricane lineup that clubbed and ACC-best 85 home runs on the season, the most since Miami hit 106 in 2010. The herculean first baseman smashed a conference-leading 24 home runs on the season that ranked third in Division I and moved him into a tie with Yonder Alonso for the second-most home runs by a Hurricane in a single season.
Twelve different Hurricanes hit at least one home run in 2019, sparking an explosion of power from the Miami bats that matched the 2018 season home run total of 23 after just 15 games in 2019. The Canes’ 85 homers were more than the combined team home run total of 58 from the previous two seasons (35 in 2017 and 23 in 2018).
The Canes also brought in a talented recruiting class that has ranked as high as No. 6 nationally and is considered among the best incoming classes in the country.
Miami opens its second season under the direction of DiMare on Feb. 14 with the opener of a three-game series against Rutgers (Feb. 14-16). For information on season tickets, click HERE or call 305-284-2263.