One of the biggest surprises on day one was a name that wasn’t called: Max Stassi. So, heading into day two, the Yuba City (Calif.) HS catcher, who ranked 30th on our latest Top 100, will be the best talent on the board. He could now be a tough pry away from UCLA, though he was still in good spirits when I caught up with him this evening.
"I don’t know," Stassi said about why he wasn’t selected on the first day of the draft. "I was expecting to go off the board pretty high too. The thing about signability was that I didn’t really put out too high a number. I stuck out a solid number, but I felt it was fine. Whatever happens happens and I’m perfectly fine right now and I’m excited to see what’s coming. Hopefully I’ll be picked on day two."
Stassi would not disclose his asking price.
"I’m keeping that number close to me and my family and my adviser," he said. "We have a number and I wouldn’t say it’s outrageous, but if I don’t get it, or if they negotiate around it, I’m happy to go to UCLA. Whatever happens happens and I’m happy either way because either way I’ll be playing baseball and furthering my career."
Stassi got off to a sizzling start this spring, hitting .593 with nine homers in his first 21 games. For a high schooler, he’s an exceptionally advanced hitter. He attacks the ball, uses the entire field and has above-average bat speed. Defensively, Stassi is solid but not outstanding. Other catchers are superior in catch-and-throw skills, but scouts agree that Stassi should have no difficulty remaining behind the plate. A bothersome shoulder injury restricted him to DH duty for about a month, but he has since returned to catching full time. His smaller, 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame leaves questions about whether he’ll be able to hold up under the grind of catching everyday but, if not, he could move to second base and be a Dustin Pedroia or Craig Biggio-type player.
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