Local Products Wait for MLB Draft
The draft’s second day will see rounds 2 -5 selected on Thursday starting at 2:00 PM.
With the shortened draft due to the Covid-19 pandemic, don’t expect to see a lot of Arizona high school players selected.
The one AZ high schooler who has seen his stock rise the most this spring is Mountain Pointe SS Carson Tucker. Despite the Pride only playing a handful of games, scouts saw Carson’s improved speed and strength gains. He’s always been a coveted defender, but like his older brother Cole, the additional strength and speed look to push him up draft boards. Carson has been gaining helium, and is now mentioned as a possible late first round or day 2 selection.
In a normal draft year, the following local products would have been potential selections, but are expected to head to college as a result of the shortened draft.
Ryland Zaborowski- 3B Basha HS- Ryland (6-6 215 pounds) may have the highest ceiling of any AZ high school player in this draft, but most scouts believe that he will benefit for additional development at Grand Canyon with the ‘lopes.
Ronan Kopp- LHP Scottsdale Christian- The shortened high school season didn’t give scouts an opportunity to get many looks this spring. While 6-5 lefties with arm strength (Ronan has been up to the mid 90s in the past) certainly get a lot of attention, evaluators wanted to see improved command and confirmation of earlier velocity. Ronan will likely end up at Arizona State.
Hunter Haas- SS Corona del Sol Hunter had a strong performance at the MLB PDP Camp last summer, and he played well in a shortened season. Most scouts would prefer to see him go to ASU and come out in 3 years.
Tyler Wilson- C Hamilton HS. The demand for switch hitting catchers is huge. Tyler has shown plenty of juice from both sides of the plate in the past, but this was the spring that scouts hoped to get extended looks at Tyler behind the plate. He has made great strides from the arm problems that have plagued him for the last few years, but the abbreviated looks will likely send him on to GCU.
This is a strong year for college bats and college arms, and ASU 1st baseman Spencer Torkelson is expected to be the #1 pick of the Tigers.
Look for ASU AZ alums Gage Workman (Basha) and Trevor Hauver (Perry) to be day 2 selections.
New Mexico State/ Cienega HS Nick Gonzales will be a top 10 selection in this draft. The Tucson area product has been a huge contributor for the Aggies since setting foot on campus, and his performance in the Cape Cod League last summer cemented his spot.
The NCAA Division 1 Committee for Legislative Relief has approved the following changes to D1 baseball for the 20120/2021 season.
1. The 25% scholarship minimum has been eliminated for one year.
2. The 35 man roster maximum has been removed. There is no roster max for the 2020/2021 season .
3. Scholarship money can now be given to up to 32 players rather than 27 for the 2020/2021 year.
So what does this mean?
Basically this is a return to the “days of old” for college baseball.
Prior to the Academic Reform movement of a decade ago, there was no scholarship minimum for D1 college baseball. In fact, there were a high number of players who received a “books” scholarship of a couple hundred dollars per year. You will see this concept return. Remember, the maximum scholarship number of 11.7 remains the same.
Without a roster maximum, teams have the option of keeping an unlimited number of players on the books. Expect to see an increase in the roster sizes of many D1 programs.
I’m not expecting 50 man rosters in D1 baseball this year. However, there is no escaping the fact that for the grads of 2020, roster numbers will be a huge issue regardless of the level, and the “trickle down “ effect will be very real. This problem isn’t going away in a year or two either.