Four Tennessee Baseball Players Land On PG Preseason All-American Teams

Four Tennessee Baseball Players Land On PG Preseason All-American Teams

Photo by Truman McDonald/ Vanderbilt Athletics

Four Tennessee baseball players landed on Perfect Game’s three Preseason All-American teams Thursday morning. The Vols came in at No. 2 in Perfect Game’s preseason top 25 Wednesday.

Starting pitchers Chase Burns and Chase Dollander landed on the First Team while starting pitcher Drew Beam landed on the Second Team and transfer shortstop Maui Ahuna landed on the Third Team.

Tennessee having all three of its weekend starting pitchers from a season ago on the first two All American teams is an incredible feat especially considering all three have only spent a season in the SEC.

Dollander is Perfect Game’s preseason pitcher of the year after earning SEC Pitcher of the Year honors last season. Transferring to Tennessee from Georgia Southern, Dolander posted a 10-0 record, 2.39 ERA and 108 strikeouts last season.

“It’s true swing-and-miss stuff and reports are that Dollander was routinely sitting 96-100 mph this fall,” Perfect Game wrote. “There’s five pitches here to miss bats with a put-away slider highlighting the arsenal. Dollander is likely the best pitching prospect to come out of the draft in a long time and is a true 1:1 candidate as well.”

Burns started the 2022 season as Tennessee’s Friday night starter and did not disappoint in his first college season.

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The Gallatin native posted an 8-2 record and 2.91 ERA during his freshman season and is due for an even bigger sophomore season.

“The true freshman class of 2022 was immediately impactful but sometimes getting lost in the shuffle was Burns who was a true Friday night ace for a top SEC program right away,” Perfect Game wrote. “Early reports are that he’s only improved which is hard to imagine a 19 year old right-hander who already flirts with triple digits doing. It’s rare to see a true freshman do the things Burns did in season but that just makes expectations even greater for the second year right-hander.”

Beam was just as dominant as Burns and Dollander for the first two-thirds of the 2022 season before his arm began waring down. The Murfreesboro native hadn’t pitched his final two seasons in high school due to COVID-19 and an elbow injury. Pitching 76 innings as a freshman at Tennessee, Beam’s arm wore down while still posting a 2.72 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.

Ahuna transferred to Tennessee from Kansas this offseason after hitting .296 with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 48 RBIs for the Jayhawks last season.

The junior shortstop has an elite glove to go along with his solid bat and should be one of the Vols’ top players this season.

Tennessee opens its 2023 season on Friday, Feb. 17 at the MLB4 Tournament in Arizona.

Author: Ethan Moore