Two Tennessee baseball players have been named Preseason All-Americans by The Perfect Game.
Junior outfielder Alerick Soularie and junior left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet were both named Third-Team All-Americans by The Perfect Game/Rawlings on Tuesday afternoon. The duo are the first Vols to be tabbed preseason All-Americans since Nick Senzel prior to the 2016 season.
According to the publication, the All-American teams consist of 17 players each, with three full teams. The players are selected based on a balance of past performance, 2020 expectations, and their prospective talent relative to the MLB Draft.
In two seasons in Knoxville, Crochet is 10-9 with a 4.76 ERA. The Ocean Springs, Mississippi native has recorded 143 strikeouts in 128.2 innings of work while allowing 135 hits and 48 walks. Coming out of high school, the 6-foot-6 lefty was drafted in the 34th round by the Milwaukee Brewers but chose to come to Tennessee.
Earlier this offseason, Crochet was ranked the No. 9 overall prospect according to MLB.com. Jim Callis — MLB.com’s senior writer for MLB pipeline — projected the Seattle Mariners to draft Crochet No. 6 overall in June’s draft.
As for Soularie, he was ranked the No. 69 overall prospect in the same ranking, which ranked the Top 100 MLB Draft prospects amongst college and high school baseball programs. Crochet and Soularie helped Tennessee have the third-most prospects in the ranking.
Soularie burst onto the scene last year as a JUCO signee. He was named to the All-SEC First Team after hitting .357, 11 home runs, and driving in 46 RBI during his first season as a Vol. The outfielder led the team in batting (.357), slugging (.602), and on-base percentage (.466). He also finished second on the team in hits (70) and led the team in runs scored (52).
Soularie was also named to D1Baseball.com’s All-America Third Team, Rawlings/Perfect Game All-America Honorable Mention, and ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region Second Team after the 2019 season.
Tony Vitello will begin his third season as the Vols’ skipper on Feb. 14th when he welcomes Western Illinois to town for a three-game series.
Tennessee will play 37 games at Lindsey Nelson Stadium this season. The Vols will also play four neutral-site games, including one at nearby Smokies Stadium against UT Martin on March 24. The Vols will play 20 games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year. That includes 11 games against programs that made it to the Super Regionals and seven versus teams that made it to the College World Series.
The Vols went 40-21 last season while making the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. UT finished third in the SEC East with an SEC record of 14-16, which was the highest finish in the division since ’05.