Heading into his Sophomore season, the Alabama Baseball team's closer Alton Davis II was named to the All-SEC second team in the preseason awards. Davis was the only member of the Crimson Tide named to any of the three teams. The honor is well deserved for Davis who had a decorated freshman season with a 2.76 ERA in conference with six saves while being named to the All-SEC Freshman team and second-team All-Freshman by NCBWA. Davis was named D1 Baseball's seventh-ranked relief pitcher for the 2024 season as well as his expectations mount.
Davis II will likely take a big jump in 2024 after a full season of facing some of the toughest competition in the country and a full off-season to dissect his season. Part of the development of Alton Davis II will be thanks to Jason Jackson, one of the nation's highest-regarded pitching coaches whom Rob Vaughn was able to retain. Jackson was honored as the assistant coach of the year, while the pitching staff tied the program record for strikeouts in a season. Outside of hiring Rob Vaughn retaining Jay Jackson was one of if not the biggest moves of the offseason and vital for the program.
In the same poll, the league's coaches also picked the Alabama Baseball team to finish fourth in the SEC West and eighth in the conference. The ranking is fair given the massive roster turnover and a new coaching staff however, the transfer class that coach Rob Vaughn brought in has given the team plenty to be excited about in 2024.
The Alabama Baseball team will outperform expectations
Despite many uncertainties, this year's Alabama Baseball team will massively outperform expectations. The pitching staff will have lofty expectations coming off of a season like 2023 but, the team returns one of the Nation's best arms in Ben Hess. With the Position players, the team returns plenty but, the transfers will be the names to watch as Ian Petrutz and Evan Sleight join the team from Big-Ten Schools and could help replace losses in the outfield like Andrew Pinckney.