Spring training is upon us, but more importantly, college baseball has begun. While it is easy to keep up with the top high school prospects and Division I talents ready for June’s MLB Draft, there are often a few under the radar guys lurking in DII and DIII baseball just itching to make an impact.
The New York Yankees did pretty well on the first day of the MLB Draft. They were able to lock up a top five talent, while getting one of the more unheralded middle infield bats in the draft.
The MLB Draft is just a day away. Most of the high school and college players that are going to go in the first two rounds are household names at this point. But what about the diamonds in the rough? What about the Division II and Division III players that may be looking for their big break?
Last season saw 84 Division II athletes get taken in the draft, while 11 hailed from Division III. Who are some of the names that could go relatively early in this season’s MLB Draft?
Thus far, the Today’s Knuckleball MLB Draft profiles have taken a look at ten players projected to go inside the top ten, as well as one wild card in the Florida Gators Buddy Reed.
But what about those names right on the cusp? What about those guys that people murmured about in February but had huge springs and are now in the top-ten conversation?
Here are three names to keep an eye on as Thursday’s MLB Draft quickly approaches.
There is arguably no more intriguing prospect in the 2016 MLB Draft than Florida’s Buddy Reed. While it is difficult to project this year’s top-ten and even top overall pick, it is seemingly even harder to figure out where Reed will go. There hasn’t been a prospect like Reed on this year’s draft board. He is a prospect that could go as early as the top-15 or as late as the middle of the second round.
Nick Senzel may be the more polished infielder heading into June 9th MLB Draft, but the most exciting infield prospect may just be Delvin Perez. Perez, who will be just 17-years old on draft day, is the best middle infielder on the board, and will almost certainly go in the first 10 picks.
While teams in the top-five are trying to figure out if Jason Groome or Riley Pint will be the first high school arm off the board, there’s a few high schoolers who will be content going in the next wave. One of those arms happens to be the best high school athlete that New York has to offer in this year’s MLB Draft.
Heading into June’s MLB Draft, many see the collegiate bat of Kyle Lewis as the most major league ready offensive weapon in the draft class. Most feel Nick Senzel and Corey Ray could be the next bats off the board with their success over the past three seasons, both at the NCAA level and in summer leagues. Two high school bats, however, are eerily similar, and could be the two most exciting prospects in the entire draft.
High schooler Jason Groome may be the best pitcher in the draft, with A.J. Puk widely considered the best arm that college ball has to offer. It’s safe to assume that Riley Pint is seen as the second-best high school offering for this June’s MLB Draft, but who is the next-best collegiate arm?
Look no further than Mississippi’s State’s captain Dakota Hudson.
Hudson is the prime example of how a projectable frame and ever-improving mechanics are sometimes more enticing to scouts and prospect evaluators than mere numbers. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound righty has not had an overly impressive resume over his three years in college. You can argue that he isn’t even the Bulldogs’ best pitcher. What you can’t argue is that he has the build, velocity and pitch arsenal that has Major League Baseball teams drooling over Hudson.
Kyle Lewis could very well be the first position player off the board this June, but Louisville’s Corey Ray won’t be too far behind. The speedy outfielder has put together a solid junior year, and is a lock to be a top-ten pick in this season’s MLB Draft.