Preseason accolades continue to come in for the Miami Hurricanes as the 2021 season approaches. On Tuesday, Perfect Game named three Hurricanes preseason All-Americans. Adrian Del Castillo and Alex Toral earned their second preseason All-American honors, being named to the first-team and second-team respectively after being given the same honors by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. JP Gates earned his first All-American honors; he was named to the third-team.
Gates was one of Miami’s best players in last year’s shortened season. The junior had a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings pitched and added 13 strikeouts. Gates was a key piece of the Hurricanes bullpen by the end of the season and was consistently used in the late innings by Gino DiMare. He’s also been a good hitter during his time in Coral Gables. Gates batted .182 in 2020, but had just 38 at-bats. In 2019 he had the Hurricanes highest team average, batting .340, and ranked fifth in OPS at .881.
Del Castillo, one of the best players in college baseball, will be a consensus first-team All-American heading into the season. A few days ago the sophomore catcher received his highest draft projection yet, being picked second by the Texas Rangers in Baseball America’s first mock draft. He slashed .358/.478/.547 last season and is the early favorite for ACC Player of the Year and the Buster Posey Award.
Alex Toral is an extremely good power hitter and will be in contention for collage baseball’s homerun crown in 2021. In 2019 Toral had 24 home runs, which ranks second all-time for a Hurricane in a single season. He finished third in the NCAA in home runs that year, and in 2021 he is the favorite to top the home run charts. Toral has also improved his contact and plate discipline and batted .296 with a .435 on-base percentage in 2020, both career highs.
The Hurricanes are set to be one of the country’s best teams in 2021. Miami was ranked No.6 by Collegiate Baseball last month and will be a consensus Top 10 team ahead of this season.