The projected everyday lineup for the Virginia baseball team this spring will be filled with preseason All-Americans.
The Cavaliers led the country with five players on the Perfect Game preseason college All-America team. Outfielder Derek Fisher and utility player Nick Howard were both named to the first team; shortstop Branden Cogswell and outfielders Brandon Downes and Mike Papi were both named to the second team.
"Fisher has yet to live up to his full potential, but all the pieces are there to accomplish that goal as a junior this spring," Perfect Game said of the junior outfielder, who hit .293 with seven homers and 48 RBI in 2013.
Howard played third base and shortstop for UVa in 2013 -- hitting .323 with three homers and 38 RBI -- and also went 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 pitching appearances, including 12 starts.
"Though Howard is listed as Virginia’s No. 3 starting pitcher going into the spring, he could be the team’s elite starter from a talent standpoint," Perfect Game said of the junior.
Papi is one of eight Perfect Game All-Americans from last season back on the 2014 preseason team, released Monday morning. Papi finished the 2013 season with a .381 average, with seven homers and 57 RBI.
Downes hit .316 last year, leading the Cavaliers with 10 homers and 59 RBI. Cogswell hit .346, with a team-high 12 stolen bases, despite missing the season's final 15 games with a broken finger.