UNC Baseball ranked No. 15 in D1 Baseball's Preseason Poll

The UNC baseball program found itself ranked No. 15 in the country in the first preseason rankings, according to D1Baseball.com.
Virginia Tech v North Carolina
Virginia Tech v North Carolina / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

The first college baseball preseason poll was released, with opening day just one month away. The UNC baseball program was ranked at No. 15 to open the season along with five other ACC teams. Conference rival Wake Forest opens the year as the No. 1 team in the nation after reaching the College World Series a season ago.

The Diamond Heels will look to improve off of a 36-24 record in 2023. North Carolina made it to the Terre Haute regional of the NCAA Tournament before falling to the Iowa Hawkeyes in 13 innings. The UNC baseball program will look to have a better conference record, as they went 14-14 a season ago.

North Carolina will be led by star outfielder Vance Honeycutt. Honeycutt was the ACC defensive player of the year and was selected to the third-team All-ACC squad despite missing the last 10 games of the season. He had a slash line of .257/.492/.418 and ranked second on the team in runs scored and stolen bases. Honeycutt is seen as a top-ten prospect in the upcoming MLB Draft by experts.

The Tar Heels pitching staff will look a bit different, but a good mix of returners and additions (via incoming freshmen and the transfer portal) should help this group improve upon an up-and-down season a year ago.

North Carolina lost some quality players to the MLB Draft, as the likes of Mac Horvath, Tomas Frick, and Max Carlson were all selected. Additionally, UNC baseball commit Walker Jenkins was drafted in the early portion of the first round and elected to begin his professional baseball career instead.

The Tar Heels will welcome the Wagner Seahawks for a three-game series from February 16-18. This will be our first opportunity to see what this year's group, one that will look rather different than a season ago, is capable of.

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