2022 State Farm College Baseball Showdown

State Farm College Baseball Showdown: Hitters To Watch

State Farm College Baseball Showdown: Hitters To Watch

Keep your eyes peeled for this quintet of powerhouses and contact kings throughout the event.

Feb 10, 2022 by Briar Napier
State Farm College Baseball Showdown: Hitters To Watch

If you want to get an idea of tomorrow's baseball stars, a handful of them will be playing Feb. 18 to 20 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

It’s a loaded task to attempt to pin down five hitters to watch at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown later this month, all games of which you can watch live on FloBaseball (if you can’t make it to the Lone Star State). But if there are only five, keep your eyes peeled for this quintet of powerhouses and contact kings throughout the event.

Watch these hitters go to work throughout the three-day schedule. 

Jace Jung, 2B, Texas Tech

Trivia question: Of the 10 college baseball players in America who hit at least 20 home runs in 2021, how many returned to their schools for 2022? The answer is just two: Florida's Jud Fabian and Texas Tech’s Jung. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year has some unfinished business to do in Lubbock, even after he was a consensus All-American choice, and one of the most dangerous powerhouses in the batter’s box in the country with 21 home runs and 67 RBI. A finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy a year ago, Jung could very easily post another monster year and be in serious conversation for the award. That hunt starts in Texas this month.

Daniel Susac, C, Arizona

One of the finest true freshmen in all of college baseball a season ago, Susac is looking to build upon a Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award—and his skyrocketing MLB Draft stock—with a stellar Round 2 in Tucson. Posting a loaded statline as the Wildcats’ everyday starter behind the plate, Susac averaged .335 while smacking 12 home runs and 65 RBI, along with a near-perfect .996 fielding percentage as possibly the best player on a College World Series team. A 6-foot-4 tower that could easily get more power this season, he has family pedigree in the major leagues (his brother, Andrew, was a World Series champ with the San Francisco Giants as the backup catcher to Buster Posey) and could very well find himself as a contributor in the pros in several years’ time. 

Ted Burton, 2B, Michigan

Burton’s slash line for the Wolverines’ in 2021 (.342 avg./.434 OBP/.667 SLG) is impressive enough at first glance, but gets even more eye-popping when taking into account he did nearly all of it against Big Ten foes as the league didn’t allow regular-season non-conference opponents last year. With the junior now possessing a full year under his belt and a more normal regular-season slate, don’t be surprised if those numbers start to balloon. An All-Big Ten First Team nod, he’s the top infield prospect in the conference, per D1Baseball, and could very well make a run at the league’s Player of the Year award if his play starts convincing even more people that he’s the real deal.

Dylan Phillips, OF, Kansas State

Phillips is on the verge of smashing some records in Manhattan, particularly when it comes to his power. His 16 long shots for K-State a year ago tied the single-season school record, and he’s now just seven homers away from breaking the all-time career record—a mark he should eclipse barring a significant absence. He tested his might against some of the nation’s best in the offseason in the Cape Cod League, arguably the nation’s premier collegiate summer baseball league, and knocked in 15 RBI in 16 games against elite competition. K-State will rely on the junior for a lot of its offense this spring as three other players with double-digit home runs left the program, but the All-Big 12 Second Team nod isn’t a bad player to get behind.

Peyton Graham, 3B, Oklahoma

Graham’s got some big cleats to fill in Norman, but luckily for him (and the Sooners) he’s been showing plenty of promise. The redshirt sophomore was third behind Tyler Hardman and Conor McKenna a year ago in both batting average (.288) and home runs (11). Graham—an All-Big 12 Second Team nod—had much to like about his game as OU’s primary leadoff hitter last season, tying for the team lead in stolen bases with seven. It was a decent follow-up to a great first year during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, where he earned a Freshman-All America pick by Collegiate Baseball after batting .358 in 18 games. With the cornerstones of the Sooners’ hitting gone from the program, they’ll be hoping Graham shows numbers closer to the 2020 ones.