Perfect Game USA has begun releasing their conference and player previews for the 2018 NCAA Baseball season and Notre Dame Fighting Irish Junior Matt Vierling has received some early accolades. The OF/RHP has been named to the Perfect Game Preseason All-ACC Team as a utility player.
Originally from St. Louis, MO, Vierling was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 30th round of the 2015 MLB Draft but chose to attend Notre Dame instead of pursuing a professional career immediately.
Vierling started all 58 games in centerfield last year for the Irish and was one of their major offensive contributors, batting .330/.398/.549 with 7 HRs and 42 RBIs. He also made 10 relief appearances for the Irish, throwing 11.1 innings. He struggled on the mound as a sophomore though pitching to a 8.74 ERA with 7 strikeouts, 8 walks, and a .381 BAA. He did however record his first 2 career saves during the 2017 season. Despite the struggles on the mound, Vierling led the Irish in multiple offensive categories, earning Third-Team All-ACC honors at the end of the season.
After finishing his second season at Notre Dame, Vierling, who Perfect Game describes as “ultra athletic, loud tools all over,” played the summer in the Cape Cod League where he struggled to repeat his spring success. Despite his struggles over the summer, Vierling still has the potential to be a high draft pick for the MLB this season and can solidify his stock with a strong junior campaign.
The Irish will need Vierling to repeat his success at the plate from last spring while also improving on the mound. Perfect Game has selected Notre Dame to finish 7th out of 7 in the ACC Coastal Division. Check out their full ACC preview as well as other conferences, top players in each class, and MLB draft rankings.