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Brett Baty's Age Likely To Play A Role In Where He Is Picked

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Brett Baty is considered one of the best bats in the 2019 draft class. The Austin high school third baseman consistently makes solid contact and has some of the best power potential among this year’s prep hitters.

There is only one problem: Baty is 19. He was born Nov. 13, 1999. On draft day he’ll be closer to his 20th birthday than his 19th.

Baty is the oldest high school player among the 400 players Baseball America has ranked for this year's draft. He is older than a few of the junior college players in the draft class, and he’s five months older than the next oldest high school member of the Top 100—righthander Jack Leiter. Shortstop Kyren Paris, the youngest player in the Top 100, is 10 days shy of being two years younger than Baty.

There’s little question that Baty’s age plays a role in how he is evaluated. It’s something that almost every scout mentions when discussing Baty, who attends Lake Travis High. But his natural hitting ability and power potential mean that he’s still likely a middle of the first round pick—possibly higher—despite being one of the older high school prospects in recent years.

However, there seems to be something of a ceiling for older high school draftees in recent years.

There has not been a 19-year-old high school player drafted among the top 15 picks since shortstop Corey Myers was the fourth pick of the 1999 draft. Outfielder Blake Rutherford, the 18th pick in 2016, is the highest drafted 19-year-old this decade. He was considered one of the best hitters among the high school class that year, but his age was something a number of scouts brought up as a concern in his predraft evaluations.

Here is a look at the 19-year-olds drafted in the first round in the 54-year-history of the draft. The last 19-year-old first-rounder to post 5 or more wins above replacement in their career is outfielder Ben Revere, the Twins' first-round pick in 2007. Trot Nixon (21.3 WAR) and Mike Lieberthal (15.3 WAR) are only two 19-year-old prep draftees of the past 30 years to post more than 10 WAR.

DraftNoClubPlayerPos
196615PiratesRichie HebnerSS
19749ExposRon Sorey3B
19821CubsShawon DunstonSS
198721TigersSteve PeguesOF
19898CubsEarl CunninghamOF
19903PhilliesMike LieberthalC
19937Red SoxTrot NixonOF
199322PiratesCharles PetersonOF
19945MarlinsJosh BootySS
199411PiratesMark FarrisSS
199616Blue JaysJoe LawrenceSS
19994D-backsCorey MyersSS
200517YankeesC.J. HenrySS
200718CardinalsPete KozmaSS
200728TwinsBen RevereOF
200729GiantsWendell FairleyOF
200824PhilliesAnthony HewittSS
201126Red SoxBlake SwihartC
201618YankeesBlake RutherfordOF
201726RangersBubba ThompsonOF
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2019 MLB Draft Mega-Analysis For All 30 Teams

Examining every class, including Day 1 picks, most exciting Day 2 and 3 selections, fast risers and philosophies.

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