Today it was announced that in the Big Ten baseball pre-season coaches’ poll, Indiana was picked as the #1 team in the conference. Not only that, it was a unanimous choice. It shouldn’t surprise anyone. Indiana is returning seven of their All-Big Ten winners from their team that made their run for the College World Series. Nebraska was tabbed as the second choice.
In case you’re wondering, Illinois placed in a tie for fifth place with Michigan. That is precisely where I would want to be in the pre-season polls if I were Coach Hartleb. That’s enough to command some respect but not too high to raise high expectations from your opponents.
2014 BIG TEN BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL (top six teams)
3. Ohio State
4. Michigan State
Duchene, Kerian and Muck get respect
Coaches were also polled about which “players to watch”. Three Illini landed on the list. Starter Kevin Duchene, firstbaseman David Kerian (left) and reliever Ronnie Muck get the respect they deserve. I could probably name five or ten more guys from our team that deserve to be listed but I might be accused of being slightly biased.
Honestly, I don’t put too much faith in pre-season polls of any kind though I lend this one some credence. It is, after all, the opinion of the Big Ten Coaches. If anyone knows these guys’ talents, it’s these people.