Before they found their way to the highest levels of college baseball and even the pros, countless players started out in the Little League World Series.
Hundreds of schools across three divisions of NCAA baseball have fielded teams for numerous years, making it difficult to pinpoint every athlete that’s participated on a college program and in the 73-tournament-old LLWS. But though this compilation isn’t comprehensive, we’ve put together a list of some of the most notable players who stepped on the collegiate and LLWS baseball diamond at some point in their careers.
Little League’s most renowned competition spans from Aug. 15-25 from South Williamsport, Penn. It includes 16 total clubs, eight international and eight from the United States.
Scott Kingery, Arizona (2013-15)
LLWS team and year: Ahwatukee American, Phoenix, Ariz. | 2006
College career: Kingery was an absolute monster during his three-year stint at Arizona, achieving a .351 batting average with 80 RBIs and only 65 strikeouts in his career. And the most unbelievable part of it all? He was a walk on before becoming the 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year.
MLB career: Philadelphia Phillies (2018-present)
Andrew Stevenson, LSU (2013-15)
LLWS team and year: Lafayette, Lafayette, La. | 2005
College career: As a dual-threat with his bat and his quick feet, Stevenson was a tough out with the LSU Tigers. He was a left-handed hitter with the more-than-competent ability to steal bases, taking 40 of them throughout his time in college. Notching 70 RBIs and securing a .311 batting average in three seasons, the offensive threat found a way to be reliable without overwhelming power at the plate.
MLB career: Washington Nationals (2017-present)
Michael Conforto, Oregon State (2012-14)
LLWS team and year: Redmond North, Redmond, Wash. | 2004
College career: In three campaigns with Oregon State — that boasted two Pac-12 Player of the Year awards — the hard-hitting slugger totaled a .340 batting average and a 1.020 OPS to go along with 179 RBIs and 31 dingers. He’s one of just three ballplayers in history to play in the Little League World Series, College World Series and MLB World Series.
MLB career: New York Mets (2015-present)
Devon Travis, Florida State (2010-12)
LLWS team and year: East Boynton Beach, Boynton Beach, Fla. | 2003
College career: The second baseman was formidable in Tallahassee and sported above-average plate discipline with less than 100 strikeouts in three years on Florida State. Travis also put up 17 homers, knocked in 99 runs and proved to be a hitting machine with a batting average of .314 in his career.
MLB career: Toronto Blue Jays (2015-present)
Brady Rodgers, Arizona State (2010-12)
LLWS team and year: Lamar, Richmond, Texas | 2003
College career: Second to only one on Arizona State’s all-time best career ERA leaders list, Rodgers went 23-10 in 52 games with the Sun Devils, primarily working as a starter. His reputation as a strikeout hound, sitting down 233 batters in his college career, added him to the Golden Spikes conversation in 2012.
MLB career: Houston Astros (2016-present)
Lance Lynn, Ole Miss (2006-08)
LLWS team and year: Brownsburg, Brownsburg, Ind. | 1999
College career: 332 career strikeouts, the second most in Ole Miss history at the time, should paint a pretty nice picture of what Lynn’s tenure with the Rebels looked like in three seasons on the mound. His most notable campaign came when the righty was a sophomore, tallying a school record-breaking 146 punchouts in a single year.
MLB career: St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers (2011-present)
Todd Frazier, Rutgers (2005-07)
LLWS team and year: Toms River American, Toms River, N.J. | 1998
College career: His 42 bombs in college pales in comparison to his power-hitting prowess in the major leagues today, but Frazier was still a frightening presence in a few seasons with Rutgers. He accumulated a whopping .347 average at the dish with 152 RBIs and a strong 1.083 OPS, which was more than enough to land him a first-round spot in the MLB Draft.
MLB career: Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, New York Mets (2011-present)
Clete Thomas, Auburn (2003-05)
LLWS team and year: R. L. Turner, Panama City, Fla. | 1996
College career: The former Auburn outfielder was a steady hitter over three seasons with the Tigers, compiling a .317 career batting average while batting in 112 runs. Thomas also guided his team to an NCAA regional in 2005.
MLB career: Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins (2008-13)
Jeff Clement, USC (2003-05)
LLWS team and year: Marshalltown National, Marshalltown, Iowa | 1996
College career: Clement’s numbers tell all about his collegiate career: a .314/.433/.596 slash line with a 1.029 OPS to complement 150 RBIs and 46 home runs. And he did it despite the wear and tear that comes with being a catcher. In fact, he won the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s best backstop player in 2005.
MLB career: Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates (2007-12)
Kevin Cash, Florida State (1997-99)
LLWS team and year: Northside, Tampa, Fla. | 1989
College career: Cash played in both the College World Series and LLWS before becoming a current MLB manager with the Tampa Bay Rays. As a Florida State Seminole, the former catcher was phenomenal at his position and batted .299, knocked in 124 runs and 27 long balls to go along with it.
MLB career: Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Houston Astros (2002-10)
Jason Bay, Gonzaga (1999-2000)
LLWS team and year: Trail, Trail, B.C. | 1990
College career: The first Gonzaga baseball player to be selected into the WCC Hall of Honor left an indelible mark on his school in just two collegiate seasons. In his second and final year with the Bulldogs, Bay slammed 20 of his 35 career home runs out of the park on his way to 74 RBIs in 1999. Those statistics bumped up his two-season combined batting average to .374.
MLB career: San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners (2003-13)
Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech (1991-94) (one of 3 to play in LLWS, CWS and MLB World Series)
LLWS team and year: Almonte Springs National, Almonte Springs, Fla. | 1984
College career: Varitek is one of the most decorated college baseball players in the history of the sport. And to add to his resume, he appeared in the LLWS, CWS and MLB World Series before his retirement. He took home the 1994 Golden Spikes Award and led Georgia Tech to the CWS championship game in the same year, giving the Yellow Jackets a reason to make his No. 33 the only retired jersey in the school’s baseball program. A long story short, Varitek was a total monster in Atlanta, smashing 57 bombs, 251 RBIs, a .384/.488/.667 slash line and a downright absurd 1.155 OPS in a four-year college tenure.
MLB career: Boston Red Sox (1997-2011)
Ed Vosberg, Arizona (1980-83)
LLWS team and year: Cactus, Tucson, Ariz. | 1973
College career: In his senior campaign with the Arizona Wildcats, Vosberg was a proven force on the mound as a starting pitcher. That same season, he went 10-2 while putting together a 3.24 ERA. He most notably is one of the three players who participated in the LLWS, CWS and MLB World Series.
MLB career: San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos (1986-2002)
Lloyd McClendon, Valparaiso (1979-80)
LLWS team and year: Anderson, Gary, Ind. | 1971
College career: Before his departure from Valparaiso in 1981, McClendon received an all-conference bid twice with the Crusaders and is part of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. In the 1971 LLWS, he hit 5 home runs for his Gary, Ind. squad.
MLB career: Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates (1987-94)
If we’re missing someone you think should be included, send us a note at NCAASupport@turner.com and we’ll consider adding them.
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