Draft Prospects Brett Baty, Hudson Head Both Had Seasons To Remember
With the lack of exceptional pitchers available in this year’s draft, teams could be drafting more bats than ever. And two of the high school players in this year’s BA 500 are putting up historical numbers in terms of their production at the plate.
Third baseman Brett Baty, the No. 15 player on the BA 500, and outfielder Hudson Head, the No. 128 player, are both hitting over .600 this season. More specifically, Baty is hitting .624 and Head is hitting .615.
It’s nearly impossible to quantify the variation of difficulty throughout different classes of high school baseball in each state. However, Baty and Head are both playing for Texas high schools, and Texas is generally considered one of the states with the highest level of competition for baseball, making their achievements even more impressive.
Since 2009, Javier Baez's .771 average set a new standard for batting average for a draft prospects. Here's the best high school seasons by draft prospects during the Baseball America era, which began in 1981.
|2011||Javier Baez||SS||Jacksonville, Fla.||.771||83||46||64||22||52|
|2004||Billy Killian||C||Stanwood, Mich.||.766||30||21||23||4||12|
|1989||Gordon Powell||3B||Cincinnati, Ohio||.727||44||13||32||8||26|
|2011||Trevor Mitsui||1B||Shorewood, Wash.||.712||52||39||37||13||26|
|2005||Andrew McCutchen||OF||Fort Meade, Fla.||.709||55||28||39||16||42|
|1992||Todd Helton||OF||Knoxville, Tenn.||.700||70||47||49||10||39|
|2000||Jason Belcher||C/3B||Walnut Ridge, Ark.||.676||74||67||50||15||59|
|2006||Matt Sulentic||OF||Dallas, Texas||.676||74||47||50||19||58|
|1997||Jayson Werth||C||Chatham, Ill.||.671||70||52||47||11||43|
|2010||Kaleb Cowart||INF||Adel, Ga.||.654||107||55||70||11||59|
|1988||Rico Brogna||1B||Watertown, Conn.||.648||37||20||24||2||23|
|1998||Gerald Laird||C||Westminster, Calif.||.648||88||57||5||33|
|2005||Cameron Maybin||OF||Arden, N.C.||.646||65||57||42||14||36|
|2000||Adrian Gonzalez||1B||Chula Vista, Calif.||.645||76||42||49||13||34|
|1984||Terry Green||SS||Stringtown, Okla.||.640||75||42||48||8||29|
|2011||Dante Bichette Jr.||3B||Orlando, Fla.||.640||86||58||55||10||40|
|2010||Manny Machado||3B||Hialeah Gardens, Fla.||.639||86||43||55||12||56|
|1995||Michael Barrett||SS||Atlanta, Ga.||.638||105||67||64||9||55|
|2006||Adrian Cardenas||2B||Miami Lakes, Fla.||.630||108||47||68||17||56|
|2016||Nolan Jones||3B||Bensalem, Pa.||.630||46||28||29||6||27|
|2017||Heliot Ramos||OF||Guaynabo, P.R.||.628||43||27||9|
|1996||Brent Abernathy||SS||Atlanta, Ga.||.627||110||66||69||11||41|
|2009||J.R. Murphy||C||Bradenton, Fla.||.627||102||64||11|
|1999||Josh Wilson||SS||Pittsburgh, Pa.||.625||48||30||7||24|
|2017||Terry Fuller||1B||Griffin, Ga.||.625||80||50||13|
|1986||Phil Clark||C||Crockett, Texas||.623||69||38||43||11||36|
|2017||Luis Campusano||C||Augusta, Ga.||.622||90||56||6|
|1984||Erik Pappas||C||Chicago, Ill.||.615||39||18||24||4||19|
|2000||Kevin Cust||C||Flemington, N.J.||.615||52||23||32||12||30|
|1991||Manny Ramirez||OF||New York, N.Y.||.614||39||25||24||6||26|
|2002||B.J. Upton||SS||Chesapeake, Va.||.614||70||51||43||10||47|
|1993||John Roskos||C||Rio Rancho, N.M.||.613||62||39||38||15||42|
|1997||Scott Ackerman||C||Oregon City, Ore.||.612||85||41||52||8||42|
|2007||Gary Brown||OF/2B||Walnut, Calif.||.612||80||44||49||4||21|
|1996||John Oliver||OF||Lehman, Pa.||.610||77||47||47||11||40|
|2014||J.J. Matijevic||1B||North Huntingdon, Pa.||.607||56||29||34||10||37|
|1997||Darnell McDonald||OF||Englewood, Colo.||.606||66||37||40||10||35|
|1994||Terrance Long||1B||Millbrook, Ala.||.604||96||48||58||13||46|
|2012||Albert Almora||OF||Hialeah Gardens, Fla.||.603||73||42||44||6||34|
|1988||Mark Lewis||SS||Hamilton, Ohio||.600||100||62||60||14||64|
|1989||Brad Wilson||C||Hiawassee, Ga.||.600||65||38||39||21||52|
|2015||Nick Shumpert||SS||Highlands Ranch, Colo.||.600||55||29||33||5||14|
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.
From 1984 to 2009, only 32 other high school BA draft prospects (who ranked in the Top 100 in the 1980s or early 1990s and in the Top 200 in the mid-1990s to 2009) have hit at least .600 in a season, highlighted by big names such as Manny Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez who hit .614 and .645, respectively.
Of those 32 prospects, 13 of them were able to accomplish this milestone in a state considered to be a hotbed for draft prospects: California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.
Andrew McCutchen is the standout of those 13 prospects, batting .709 in his senior year of high school.
We took a look at how these high school phenoms translated to the majors, if they even made it that far.
Of those 32 prospects, 21 of them made it to the majors at some point, or about 65.6 percent. Four of those 21 players played fewer than 100 games in the majors.
Although these high school stars were incredible hitters at a young age, those averages don’t necessarily carry over into the pros.
Of the 29 inactive players from the list of prospects, the combined batting average in the majors was just .159. If you ignore the prospects who never made it all the way to the big leagues, the average raises to .257, but one would probably expect a little more from some of the greatest high school hitters in recent history.
The inactive players who made it to the majors at some point played an average of a little over 820 games in their careers, or a bit more than five complete regular seasons.
Of the high school prospects, Ramirez played the most games in the majors with 2302, while Gary Brown played the least of everybody who made it to the majors at some point with just seven games. However, Brown was able to continue his strong hitting form from high school with a major league career batting average of .429 through those seven games.
Ramirez and Todd Helton were the only other players to hit over .300 in their major league careers. Ramirez hit .312, and Helton was slightly better at .316.