The SEC baseball coaches released their preseason picks and All-SEC teams Thursday, predicting the Diamond Hogs to win the West and naming four Razorbacks to the all-conference squads.
Trailing only Florida, Arkansas received 90 votes to win their division, putting them ahead of Texas A&M by 18 votes. Each coach also submitted their choice for SEC champion, voting Florida (12 votes) as their winner over Arkansas (1) and Texas A&M (1). Coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their own program.
In addition to preseason predictions, SEC coaches selected their All-SEC teams. Arkansas also came in second in the conference to Florida with four players picked. Catcher Grant Koch landed on the first team while shortstop Jax Biggers, outfielder Dominic Fletcher and pitcher Blaine Knight made the second.
Last season, Koch hit .264 including 13 home runs (career-high) and 42 RBIs. The junior from Fayetteville was also a staple behind the plate starting 63 games.
Biggers spent one year at Cisco Junior College in Texas before transferring to Fayetteville in 2016. He led the entire Razorback unit and all SEC shortstops in batting average (.338) as a sophomore last season despite hitting primarily in the ninth spot.
Sophomore outfielder Dominic Fletcher hit .291 with 64 hits, 12 home runs (most by a freshman in Arkansas history) and 37 RBIs last season. Fletcher wore No. 28 last but has decided to switch to his old No. 24 after the departure of Chad Spanberger.
Knight started 16 games on the mound last season and recorded an ERA of 3.28. Despite failing to receive any postseason accolades, he was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 29th round. To the delight of Razorback fans, the dominant right-hander elected to stay in Fayetteville for his junior campaign.
Arkansas is only eight days out from the first pitch of the 2018 season. Bucknell comes to Fayetteville for a weekend home series on February 16-18. Friday’s game is set to start at 3:00 pm (CST).