Baseball America College Podcast: Looking At The Draft, Recruiting Classes
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy preview this week's MLB Draft and discuss Teddy's recently-updated recruiting rankings, which could be greatly affected by the way the draft ends up playing out.
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After Auburn righthander Casey Mize was taken first overall in 2018 and Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman earned the honor last year, the expectation is that the top player chosen, likely Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson, will come from the college ranks for the third year in a row.
After that, Vanderbilt third baseman/outfielder Austin Martin, Texas A&M lefthander Asa Lacy, Georgia righthander Emerson Hancock, New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales and UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell are all expected to be taken soon thereafter, helping to make it one of the strongest crops of college talent in recent memory.
The draft should also bring some clarity to a muddled college roster situation. In a five-round draft, far fewer college players and incoming recruits will be selected, and that will be the next step for college coaches in determining just who will be on the roster this fall.
For many of the teams with recruiting classes ranked in the top 25, a shorter draft will allow a higher level of high school recruit than normal to make it to campus. When you combine that with more current college players returning to campus because of a shortened draft and uncertainty around the minor league season in 2020, the talent level in college baseball could be at an all-time high in 2021.
Among the topics discussed on this episode include:
- Re-living Kumar Rocker's 2019 super regional performance, one year later
- The debate between Spencer Torkelson and Austin Martin at the top of the draft
- Torkelson's defensive ability and the potential that he could play the outfield at the next level
- Asa Lacy's development from his freshman season until now
- All of the variables that will play into which players will go into pro baseball as non-drafted free agents
- The top-ranked Texas recruiting class and how the draft might affect that group getting to Austin
- What sparked Florida and Louisiana State moving into the top five in the recruiting rankings after appearing outside the top 25 on signing day
- Which top classes could be most affected by the draft
- How this could be a game-changing class for South Carolina
- What can be expected from Southern California's class