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The Undrafted: What Happened?

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Jameis Winston (Photo by Cliff Welch)

Since 2001, there have been 14 players who were rated as top 100 draft prospects by Baseball America who went undrafted during the next four seasons. Injuries played the largest role in explaining why the once top prospects were never drafted again.

Cole McKay, RHP (2015 draft): He transferred during sophomore season at Louisiana State to Howard (Texas) JC—he’s now on Abilene Christian’s roster. He threw eight innings as a redshirt junior in 2019.

Kep Brown, OF (2015): Began college career at Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) JC. Now heads into redshirt senior year at UNC Wilmington.

Donny Everett, RHP (2015): Tragically drowned during his freshman season at Vanderbilt.

Keaton McKinney, RHP (2014): Retired from baseball after two Tommy John surgeries while pitching for Arkansas.

Hunter Virant, LHP (2012): Virant missed his second season at UCLA because of a stress fracture in his back. While he did return to action, his stuff was diminished.

Jameis Winston, RHP (2012): While Winston was a promising pitcher, he was more promising on the gridiron. He was the first pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Freddy Avis, RHP (2012): Threw one inning for Stanford before retiring with a shoulder injury.

Connor Barron, OF (2011): Played four years at Southern Mississippi, but never hit .300 and finished his career with 12 home runs.

DeAndre Smelter, RHP (2010): After suffering a shoulder injury at Georgia Tech, Smelter switched his focus to football. He was a starting wide receiver for the Yellow Jackets and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.

Dane Williams, RHP (2009): Williams never made it back to full health after having Tommy John surgery during his freshman year at North Carolina State.

Christian Madson, RHP (2002): A torn labrum ended his career at Florida. He made two appearances in his final three seasons with the Gators.

Clay Dirks, LHP (2002): Dirks made it back from an elbow injury and pitched four years at Louisiana State, but he was never drafted again.

Billy Paganetti, LHP/1B (2001): A power hitter in high school, Paganetti moved to the mound after breaking his wrist but barely played at Stanford.

Scott Shapiro, RHP/1B (2001): Shapiro transferred from Vanderbilt to Santa Clara after his freshman season. He had a big arm but lost all feel for throwing strikes. He walked 11 in 5.2 innings in his final season at Santa Clara.

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