Feb. 16, 2011

click here for coaches' SBC preseason poll

click here for coaches' preseason All-SBC team


Florida Atlantic leads in tight Sun Belt Conference


CollegeBaseballInsider.com asked college coaches around the country to preview the 2011 college baseball season by sharing their insights on the teams and players to watch in their conferences. CBI compiled their answers to provide a sneak peek for the season ahead. click here for CBI Conference Previews


Today, we take a look at the Sun Belt Conference (eight of 10 coaches responded).


The team to beat is: Florida Atlantic


Rank the top three starting pitchers: Tyler Ray, Troy; Jacob Lee, Arkansas State; R.J. Alvarez, Florida Atlantic


The top closer is: Andy Mee, Florida Atlantic (pictured right)


The pitcher you least want to face is: Jacob Lee, Arkansas State


The most underrated pitcher is: Drew Granier, ULM


The best defensive catcher is: Matt Rice, Western Kentucky


The best catcher arm is: Matt Rice, Western Kentucky


The best defensive infielder is: *Adam Bryant, Troy


The best infield arm is: Adam Bryant, Troy


The best defensive outfielder is: Kes Carter, Western Kentucky


The best outfield arm is: Andy Mee, Florida Atlantic


Rank the three best pure hitters: Garrett Wittels, FIU; Adam Bryant, Troy (pictured right); Matt Rice, Western Kentucky


Rank the three biggest power threats: Adam Bryant, Troy; Dan Scheffler, Florida Atlantic; Will Skinner, Middle Tennessee


The hitter you least want to face is: Garrett Wittels, FIU


The toughest hitter to strike out is: Garrett Wittels, FIU


The most underrated hitter is: Pablo Bermudez, FIU


The best base-runner is: Michael Faulkner, Arkansas State


The best game coach is: Chris Finwood, Western Kentucky


The assistant coach most ready for a head-coaching job is: (tie) Mark Calvi, South Alabama; and Mark Smartt, Troy


*unanimous selection


(photos courtesy of FAU & Troy Media Relations Offices)