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2015 College Baseball: ACC Baseball Preview

To nobody's surprise, the ACC is projected to be a very tough conference again. Five teams are ranked in the pre-season polls and the conference could boast 3 of the top picks in the MLB draft. The Hoos are projected to finish first, but it'll be a dogfight all season.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, three ACC teams hosted NCAA regionals. (Louisville, now an ACC member, did as well.) In total, 7 ACC teams made the field of 64. Only the SEC had more.

Knowing all of that, it should come as no surprise that the ACC has 5 teams ranked in the pre-season top 25. Led by Virginia at #3, UNC (#6), Louisville (#11), Miami (#15) and Florida State (#21) are all ranked. Despite relatively down year, Clemson and Georgia Tech are both still solid teams and could make noise this season.

Duke finished with a better than .500 record in the ACC last year and returns one of the top weekend rotations in the ACC, led by possible #1 overall pick Michael Matuella. And Wake Forest also won 15 conference games last year, so they could very well make the NCAAs if their pitching holds up.

Yes, the ACC is going to be a beast. Again. Below are the projected ACC Standings, from d1baseball.com.

Atlantic

Coastal

Louisville

Virginia

Florida State

North Carolina

Clemson

Miami

NC State

Georgia Tech

Boston College

Duke

Wake Forest

Pittsburgh

Notre Dame

Virginia Tech

Preseason ACC Player of the Year: D.J. Stewart, OF, Florida State

Preseason ACC Pitcher of the Year: Nathan Kirby, Virginia

Preseason Freshman of the Year: Carl Chester, OF, Miami

Stewart was the ACC Player of the year last season as a sophomore. He led the conference in batting (.351), slugging (.557) and on-base (.472). He was also top 10 in RBI, doubles, HRs and walks. He's a projected late first round pick.

Kirby, as we know, is a left handed starter who was 9-3 with a 2.06 ERA last year. He struck out 112 in 113 IP and limited opponents to a .175 BAA. He'll likely be a top 5 pick in the MLB Draft.

Chester is a raw athlete who many thought would head straight to pro baseball. But, he wasn't drafted until the 38th round (in part because of his college commitment and in part because he's so raw).

There could be a big divide between the top teams in the league and the bottom ones. Pitt, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech were all pretty bad last year, and don't figure to improve. And the Hoos play all 3.