They are nowhere near the big leagues. But they have the energy, fire, ambition, and talent that they hope gets them there, and share that very unique college baseball energy on Twitter.
This wasn’t about number of followers, because many of them are very unfamiliar (although that did factor in with one player). Being entertaining, forthcoming and just showing their own qualities was what stood out.** (this will also run on Going Nine Baseball tomorrow). Similar to the MiLB Twitter Twenty, there are 30 Honorable Mentions. That has run on Baseball Digest/Going Nine for two years. This is the inaugural college try!
Seeing college players at this early stage of their journey is really just fun, at times emotional, but always interesting. That translates to the Twitterverse. And here you are....
1.Brian Pruett, Shortstop, Coastal Carolina, @Brian_Pruett - The follower count alone is impressive. A perfect example of how a player can build his own following before he’s even made it to pro ball. But the main reason he tops this list, is that he updates almost daily. His interactions with followers are warm, fun and often inspirational, and he consistently shares something interesting or humorous. A social media champ.
2.Austin Weekley, Pitcher, Charleston Southern, @AustinWeekley18 - Here's one guy that likes to interact. He's a regular around the Twitter world (with 10,979 tweets at last count) and doesn't waste many words. He informs his readers what he's up to and keeps it friendly and lighthearted.
3.Casey Mulholland, State College of Florida @CaseyMulholland - His bio includes the explanation for his nickname: 'Because of Casey Stengel'. With that kind of background info, you'd expect passion for baseball (and life. And Twitter) and that's what you get.
4. Logan Colby Suggs, Pitcher, University of Arkansas, @papasuggs34 - His unique and energetic personality shines through.
5. Justin D'Amato, Pitcher, St. John Fisher, @JustinDamato3- A high octane guy and it shows through his consistent Tweeting.
6. Trey Wimmer, First Baseman/Catcher, Liberty Baseball, @twim10 – His kindness and faith are a big part of what he has to say. He tweets about Tebow a bit (#FreeTebow). All in good fun.
7.George Schaefer, Pitcher, Charleston Southern University, @Schaef22 - Fun and spirited. Uses the increasingly infamous lingo shared by minor leaguers, a number of them associated with UConn. #FeedTheWolf? You'll have to figure it out by following.
8. Ricky Ross, Catcher, St. John Fisher, @ParkerRoss7 - “The nice thing is that right after Christmas, comes baseball season, which leads to summer.” What more do you need to read? There's also that he's a daily Tweeting kind of guy, but keeps it to the point and happily socializes with followers.
9. Mark Appel, Pitcher, Stanford University, @MAppel26 – One of the most talked about college players last year for what he didn't do (sign with Pirates), instead of what he did do (committed to finishing at Stanford). His deep faith and super positive attitude makes him one of the most likeable guys on this list.
10. Brian Ward, Pitcher, University of Connecticut, @brianward45 - Smart and super funny.
11. Carson Plyler, Infielder, Catawba Valley Community College, @cplyler7- Enjoys tweeting about his love for football and golf. Keeps it simple and fun.
12. Darin Gillies, Pitcher, Arizona State, @Gillies15 – The Sun Devils pitcher is open and warm in what he shares. Tweets enthusiastically about his passion for fishing, and hunting, so if you're sensitive to that, be aware! (PHOTOS)
13. Will Charkowsky, Catcher, Mitchell College, @Chark_27- Being “Motivated” is the name of the game, and that comes through in the things he shares. He's been through a lot, and his attitude toward life is clear.
14. Jeremy Finchum, Pitcher, Capital University, @II_22FINCH22_II – So, if you can find him.... (sweet, funny and talks freely with followers about interests)
15. Johnny C. Coy, Outfielder/Infielder, Wichita State University, @JcoyShox25 – Keeps it light and chats with followers regularly. He likes UFC, so if that's your thing, give him a look.
16. Matt Boyd, Pitcher, Oregon State, @mattboyd31 – Bio includes #IamSecond. Says so much about him and the person that tweets enthusiastically on a daily basis.
17. Mason Hershey, Catcher, ETSU- @I_AM_HERSH34 – Jokes around a lot with followers. And his tweets about this Christmas were favorites.
18. Ryan Trauger, Pitcher, St. John Fisher, @ryantrauger9 – Usually keeps it short and simple. And honest.
19. Christian Helsel, Infielder, Ole Miss, @C_Hels34 - Is vocal about his passions. Connects with followers in a down to earth way.
20. Clayton Vaughn, Infielder, North Central Texas College, @C_Vaughn- Hard not to like a guy that tweets openly romantic thoughts to his fiance. An emotive person that has something to say almost daily.
And don't forget these guys!
30 Honorable Mentions:
Michael Montville, Outfielder, University of Maryland- @MikeyMo5
Joshua Frendendall, Pitcher, University of Washington- @Jfrendendall
Ty Moore, Outfielder, UCLA- @Ty29Moore
Grayson Greiner, Catcher, South Carolina- @ggreiner21
Chad Sobotka, Pitcher, USC- @Chad_Sobotka
Billy Ferriter, Outfielder, UConn- @BillyFerriter
Colby Holmes, Pitcher, University of South Carolina- @CHolmes44
Hayden Barnett, Pitcher, University of Arkansas- @haybarcheezy
Kent Blackstone, Shortstop, NMSU- @TheBiggerStone6
Jack Mayfield, Infielder, Oklahoma University- @jackmayfield8
Dave Behler, Pitcher, Arcadia University- @DaveBehler
Chris Harvey, Catcher, Vanderbilit- @CHarv44
John McLeod, Pitcher,Wake Forrest University- @JohnMcLeod17
Aaron Judge, Outfielder, Fresno State- @TheJudge44
Jake Stinnett, Pitcher/Third Baseman, University of Maryland- @jstinnett7
Wales Toney, Pitcher, Clemson University- @Walsey10
Sean Anthony Manaea, Pitcher, Indiana State University- @MISTLETOEMANAEA
Jake Kalish, LHP/Outfielder,George Mason University - @jkalish18
DJ Peterson, Third Baseman, University of New Mexico- @godj33
Mike Sisco, Pitcher, University of Arkansas- @Mike_Sisco22
Trevor Williams, Pitcher, ASU- @T_WilliamsASU43
Bryan Verbitsky, Pitcher, Hofstra University- @yaboybits
Johnny Beck, Outfielder, SJFC- @bagsbags14
Conor J. Keniry, Infielder/Outfielder, Wake Forrest University - @CKeniry14
Nick Martin, Pitcher, Iowa State University- @saintnicholas37
Brody Greer, Infielder, USC- @BG19_
Brady Kirkpatrick, Pitcher, University of Maryland- @bkirky3
Joel Seddon, Pitcher, University of South Carolina- @JSedd6
Eric Jagielo, Infielder, University of Notre Dame - @E_Jagielo
Philip Ervin, Centerfielder, Samford University - @Mr_MagicErvin
*Commits weren’t eligible.