The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for academic and athletic events in Texas, today suspended all such competition until May 11. The move is a response to the swine flu outbreak in the state.
There are 16 confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas, including the death of 23-month-old boy visiting from Mexico City on Monday. Governor Rick Perry made a disaster declaration today, and several school districts have shut down.
Texas offers its usual deep crop of high school talent for the draft, led by potential first-rounders such as Brownwood HS righthander Shelby Miller, Klein HS lefty Matthew Purke and outfielders Everett Williams (McCallum HS, Austin) and Slade Heathcott (Texas HS, Tekarkana). But one area scout contacted by Baseball America said the two-week shutdown shouldn’t make much difference to major league clubs.
"If you’re prepared, you should already know who the guys are and who you ought to take," said the scout, who asked to remain anonymous. "Most teams aren’t making decisions at this late stage."
The scout also said the hiatus also shouldn’t affect crosscheckers who are trying to see top players in the final month before the draft.
"In a place like Texas, crosscheckers already have been through here," he said. "They come in here early, then go up North by now when the weather warms up, so it shouldn’t affect them too much either. Hopefully it won’t be much of an issue, and let’s hope nobody else gets swine flu."
Contributing: John Manuel.