The Oklahoma Sooners are just a week away from launching their 2016 baseball campaign and OU fans should expect it to be a wild ride. Despite losing more players to the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft than any other school in the country (11 players), the Sooners are ranked No. 21 by Baseball America, thanks in large part to 21 newcomers, including three MLB draft picks and two high school All-Americans. Oklahoma, who finished the season 34-27 last year, was picked fourth in the Big 12 Coaches Poll, behind TCU, Oklahoma State, and Texas who all shared first-place votes.
|2016 BIG 12 COACHES POLL|
|Team (1st)||2015 W-L|
|1. TCU (3)||51-15 (18-5)|
|2. Oklahoma State (3)||38-20 (14-8)|
|3. Texas (3)||30-27 (11-13)|
|4. Oklahoma||34-27 (13-11)|
|5. Texas Tech||31-24 (13-11)|
|6. West Virginia||27-27 (9-13)|
|T-7. Kansas||23-32 (8-15)|
|T-7. Kansas State||27-30 (10-14)|
|9. Baylor||23-32 (9-15)|
The Sooners are 16-17 when ranked in the polls under Pete Hughes, who is entering his 3rd season as Oklahoma's head coach.
Two key players that Hughes will have at his disposal are juniors Alec Hansen (pitcher) and Sheldon Neuse (short-stop). Both have earned preseason All-American honors and both are high draft probabilities this summer. The duo earned spots on the Collegiate Baseball News/Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America Second Team, while Baseball American put Hansen on their First Team and Neuse on the Third Team.
Pitcher Jake Elliott joined Hansen and Neuse on the Baseball America College Top 100 Draft Prospects List, released last month. They have Hansen as the No.2 overall collegiate draft prospect with Elliott No. 69, and Neuse No. 82.
The Sooners will open up their 2016 baseball season at home with a four-game stint against Northeastern beginning Friday February 19th.