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Draft Prospects Brett Baty, Hudson Head Both Had Seasons To Remember

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Brett Baty (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

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.

Brett Baty (Texas), the No. 15 player in the BA 500, and Hudson Head (Texas), the No. 128 player in the BA 500, are both hitting over .600 this season. More specifically, Baty is hitting .624 and Head is hitting .615 this year.

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 draft prospects high school production. Here's the best high school seasons by draft prospect hitters during the Baseball America era.

YearPlayerPositionLocationAVGABRHHRRBI
2011Javier BaezSSJacksonville, Flor..7718346642252
2004Billy KillianCStanwood, Mich..766302123412
1989Gordon Powell3BCincinnati, Ohio.727441332826
2011Trevor Mitsui1BShorewood, Wash..7125239371326
2005Andrew McCutchenOFFort Meade, Flor..7095528391642
1992Todd HeltonOFKnoxville, Tenn..7007047491039
2000Jason BelcherC/3BWalnut Ridge, Ark..6767467501559
2006Matt SulenticOFDallas, Tex..6767447501958
1997Jayson WerthCChatham, Ill..6717052471143
2010Kaleb CowartINFAdel, Geor..65410755701159
1988Rico Brogna1BWatertown, Conn..648372024223
1998Gerald LairdCWestminster, Cal..6488857533
2005Cameron MaybinOFArden, NC.6466557421436
2000Adrian Gonzalez1BChula Vista, Cal..6457642491334
1984Terry GreenSSStringtown, Okla..640754248829
2011Dante Bichette Jr.3BOrlando, Flor..6408658551040
2010Manny Machado3BHialeah Gardens, Flor..6398643551256
1995Michael BarrettSSAtlanta, Geor..6381056764955
2006Adrian Cardenas2BMiami Lakes, Flor..63010847681756
2016Nolan Jones3BBensalem, Penn..630462829627
2017Heliot RamosOFGuaynabo, P.R..62843279
1996Brent AbernathySSAtlanta, Geor..62711066691141
2009J.R. MurphyCBradenton, Flor..6271026411
1999Josh WilsonSSPittsburgh, Penn..6254830724
2017Terry Fuller1BGriffin, Geor..625805013
1986Phil ClarkCCrockett, Texas.6236938431136
2017Luis CampusanoCAugusta, Geor..62290566
1984Shawn AbnerOFMechanicsburg,Penn..620502531518
1984Erik PappasCChicago, Ill..615391824419
2000Kevin CustCFlemington, NJ.6155223321230
1991Manny RamirezOFNew York, NY.614392524626
2002B.J. UptonSSChesapeake, Vir..6147051431047
1993John RoskosCRio Rancho, NM.6136239381542
1997Scott AckermanCOregon City, Ore..612854152842
2007Gary BrownOF/2BWalnut, Cal..612804449421
1996John OliverOFLehman, Penn..6107747471140
2014J.J. Matijevic1BNorth Huntingdon, Penn..6075629341037
1997Darnell McDonaldOFEnglewood, Col..6066637401035
1994Terrance Long1BMillbrook, Ala..6049648581346
2012Albert AlmoraOFHialeah Gardens, Flor..603734244634
1988Mark LewisSSHamilton, Ohio.60010062601464
1989Brad WilsonCHiawassee, Geor..6006538392152
2015Nicholas ShumpertSSHighlands Ranch, Col..600552933514
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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.

From 1984 to 2009, only 32 other high school BA draft prospects (who ranked in the Top 100 in the 1980s/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 (N.Y.) and Adrian Gonzalez (Cal.) 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 (Fla.) 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, only 21 of them made it to the majors at some point, or about 65.6 percent. Four of those 21 players played less than 100 games in the majors.

Cameron Maybin (N.C.), John Ryan Murphy (Fla.) and McCutchen (Fla.) are still currently active MLB players, so we did not factor them into the following statistics.

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 (N.Y.) played the most games in the majors with 2302, while Gary Brown (Cal.) played the least of everybody who made it to the majors at some point with just seven games. However, Brown (Cal.) 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 (N.Y.) and Todd Helton (Tenn.) were the only other players to hit over .300 in their major league careers. Ramirez (N.Y.) hit .312, and Helton (Tenn.) was slightly better at .316.

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