Rice baseball will lose a handful of players to the MLB Draft this fall, but the roster continues to improve as new recruits choose the Owls.
The Owls roster will feature some familiar faces and some very new names in 2020. The first notable changes will be determined in the coming months as each of the six recent MLB draftees make decisions on their professional baseball futures.
Matt Canterino, Evan Kravetz and Garrett Gayle will be playing pro ball next season, that’s definitive. What’s less clear is what the remaining three drafted Rice baseball players — Roel Garcia, Addison Moss and Trei Cruz — will choose to do.
As of this moment, it’s most likely all three of them return. However, the Tampa Bay Rays plan to fly to Houston to see Moss pitch in the coming weeks. If any of those three opt for pro ball this year, he seems to be the most likely candidate. The entire trio have the skillsets to climb into Top 10 round picks next season with strong fall seasons and reinvigorated springs. Their opportunity suggest at least one more year at South Main.
Assuming the reinsertion of Garcia and Moss, the Rice pitching staff could be in better shape than expected considering the loss of two Top 5 round draft selections. Rice is going to add some JUCO guys on the mound expected to contribute quickly.
Reinforcements are coming to the lineup, too. Finding another left handed bat was a must in this recruiting cycle as was adding more power. The Owls feel like they accomplished both of those things. Altogether, they’ll add a dozen new players to the roster this fall.
The pipeline continues further than that, though. Rice has eight players committed in the 2021 class, one which should, at least on paper, be the most talented class Bragga has ever recruited as a head coach. I asked about the influx of talent Rice was bringing into their program, asking him if it seems like he’s “Recruiting at the level that you need to…
“….go to Omaha,” Bragga finished. “At the end of the day, that’s the goal.” Rice has work to do before they return to the College World Series. But it’s encouraging to see the groundwork is being laid.