Most agree that COVID 19 has made all of us a bit crazy. There is no baseball or other sports for that fact.
Professional leagues are thinking outside the realm of normalcy. Hockey is going straight to the playoffs.
Basketball will play 8 games and then go straight to the playoffs. Hell, even Nascar is getting rid of Confederate flags at their events. (Although that isn’t really a result of COVID) Then there is baseball. They can’t seem to agree on how long the season should be and they cut the draft to 5 rounds.
Five rounds is a huge difference from the normal 40 rounds. However, with most college and high school baseball seasons cut short, there were a lot of players who didn’t get the evaluation they needed. So 5 rounds seems about right. Most in the DFW media along with draft experts around the country, felt that Rangers would go with more college kids with only 5 rounds. After all, they were on the college kids longer than most of the high school kids.
The Rangers don’t play by conventional rules. They took an under slot college kid with the 14th pick in the draft. Most thought they would go after more college talent who slipped, with the money they saved in the first round.
Instead, they went with four high school kids on day 2. One of them was not on anyone’s radar as a top 500 prospect.
2nd Round, 50th Overall – Evan Carter, OF // Elizabethton HS, TN
Carter was the biggest surprise of the night. Not ranked in Baseball America’s Top 500 draft rankings, it would seem he would have been available later than the 50th pick. However, Scouting Director Kip Fagg said that he felt Kansas City and Pittsburgh were in on him.
Watching Fagg describe Carter was something. Carter was the last game Fagg attended before COVID shut down baseball. Fagg seems to consider Carter a 5 tool player who would have jumped up the rankings more than anyone has he played a full season. This one is intriguing.
3rd Round, 86th Overall – Tekoah (TK) Roby, RHP // Pine Forest HS, FL
Tekoah was the 144th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline and had committed to Troy University. He’ll throw his fastball in the 89-94 mph range, with excellent sinking life.
He complements it with a 74-78 mph downer-breaking curveball, a pitch that’s at least above-average in the future. He does have a changeup, but he needs to work on developing it to catch it up with his fastball-curve combination.
4th Round, 115th Overall – Dylan Maclean, LHP // Central Catholic HS, OR
Maclean was the 195th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline and a Washington Huskies commit. There’s no question that the best high school arm in the state of Oregon belongs to Mick Abel.
No. 2 on that list, and the best lefty from the area, is MacLean, a super-projectable southpaw who entices with his ability to command his stuff as well as potential future gains in velocity and stuff. His season was cut short but he touched 92 MPH on video surfing workouts.
5th Round, 145th Overall – Thomas Saggese, SS // Carlsbad HS, CA
Saggese was not ranked 279 in Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects and was committed to Pepperdine University. Saggese hit .422 with 10 home runs as a junior to win MVP of San Diego’s Avocado West League, one of the top high school leagues in the country.
He carried on this spring with a .440 batting average, three triples, and three home runs in seven games before the season shut down. Saggese is an athletic shortstop with a history of performing against good competition.
This is not a list of names that were highly regarded according to the so-called experts, but neither were names like Kenny Rogers, Ivan Rodriguez or Joe Palumbo. I guess its a wait and see game.
Featured Image: Douglas Fritz