Texas A&M was selected to finish second in the SEC Western Division in the 2017 Southeastern Conference Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll, the league announced on Thursday.
The Aggies were slotted to finish second in the West behind LSU, who received 13 of 14 first-place votes. Texas A&M received one first-place vote. The Bayou Bengals were tabbed favorites with 72 points. Texas A&M logged 55 points followed by Ole Miss (51), Mississippi State (36), Arkansas (27), Alabama (16) and Auburn (16).
Texas A&M was picked second in the Western Division despite losing a school-record 12 players to the MLB Draft following the 2016 season. The Maroon and White lost a total of 17 letterwinners from last year’s edition. The Aggies finished second in the West in 2016 and went on to win their first SEC Tournament title.
Florida was tabbed the favorite in the SEC Eastern Division with 10 first-place votes and 70 points. South Carolina was slotted second with the other four first-place votes and 61 points. The East was rounded out by Vanderbilt (52), Georgia (29), Kentucky (29), Tennessee (20) and Missouri (12).
LSU and Florida shared the top spot in voting for overall SEC title with six first-place votes apiece. South Carolina picked up two first-place votes.
Despite having a pair of Preseason All-Americans in Brigham Hill and Corbin Martin, the Aggies were not represented on the Preseason All-SEC squad.
Since 1996, the SEC has named a regular season champion as well as a tournament champion. Prior to 1996, the tournament champion was considered the SEC champion.
The 2017 regular-season for NCAA Division I begins on Friday, February 17. SEC league play is set to begin Friday, March 17. The SEC Tournament will be played at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama on May 23-28.
A total of seven SEC teams qualified for NCAA Regionals in 2016, and a record four teams were selected as national seeds.
2017 SEC BASEBALL COACHES PRESEASON POLL
1. Florida (10) – 70
2. South Carolina (4) – 61
3. Vanderbilt – 52
4. Georgia – 29
Kentucky – 29
6. Tennessee – 20
7. Missouri – 12
1. LSU (13) – 72
2. Texas A&M (1) – 55
3. Ole Miss – 51
4. Mississippi State – 36
5. Arkansas – 27
6. Alabama – 16
Auburn – 16
SEC Champion: Florida (6), LSU (6), South Carolina (2)