Perhaps you're familiar with the term Episode Zero, or perhaps you're not. Episode One is the first episode of a TV series, so Episode Zero is whatever came before. Maybe it was an effort to get a studio interested. I seem to remember "All In The Family" had two or three episodes that would qualify as Episode Zero.
Today's episode is what my expected pecking order will be regarding college baseball games next Friday, February 18, when a lot of college teams get under way. You can follow along with some potential Cubs draft picks in some of these games. There’s audio and/or ESPN+ for many of these games. All times Central.
11 a.m., Oklahoma Sooners vs. Auburn Tigers at Arlington, Texas
Any SEC team will have talent. I haven't done the homework to know who the linchpin will be fore Auburn, but Fangraphs loves Peyton Graham like I like chocolate. He's been atop their draft board since it's been active, so Graham against a Friday SEC guy sounds informative.
1 p.m., Oregon State Beavers vs. New Mexico Lobos at Surprise, Arizona
Oregon State usually has a proper squad and announcing crew. Nothing of vital importance here, but many games start "a bit later" than the scheduled time.
1 p.m., UNC-Asheville Bulldogs at Virginia Tech Hokies
Right fielder Gavin Cross is being tried in center field this season.
3 p.m., Long Beach State Dirtbags at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Two nationally-ranked squads seems a nice lure. I expect I'll pop in on this one as a hat-tip to the matchup. And yes, Long Beach State really is the Dirtbags.
3 p.m., Arizona Wildcats versus Kansas State Wildcats at Arlington, Texas
If you're a fan of the Cubs drafting catcher Daniel Susac, Arizona games could be worth following. He's an offense-first backstop, and might get consideration.
4 p.m., Cal State Fullerton Titans at Stanford Cardinal
Stanford outfielder Brock Jones is the draw here. I'm not sold on him going top ten, or being a able as late as 30, and therein lies the draft rub. Notable talent, though.
4:30 p.m., Oklahoma State Cowboys at Vanderbilt Commodores
You can show up to see who's tossing 95 for Vanderbilt, or to find out why OSU is ranked. I'm interested in the home team's shortstop Carter Young, who could creep into the discussion at 1.7.
5 p.m., James Madison Dukes at Florida State Seminoles
Chase DeLauter against good pitching. Good pitchers against talent that might move up in the draft over exposure caused by DeLauter.
7 p.m., Michigan Wolverines vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders at Arlington, Texas
Top Big 12 draft option in second baseman Jace Jung, and the top in the Big Ten, in outfielder Clark Elliott.
There is also a college tournament being held starting Friday at Salt River Fields, the spring home of the Diamondbacks and Rockies, involving Cal, Houston, San Diego State and TCU. Details here.