2021 prospects

Baseball America released its initial top 100 prospects list for college and high school (two lists) today. There are five Arkansas players or signees on the lists.

Christian Franklin 14
Casey Opitz 49
Patrick Wicklander 79

High School
Braylon Bishop 6
Drake Varnado 50

Hmmm, no Connor Noland or Robert Moore. They must not have taken this past shortened season into consideration. Connor was our Friday night starter last season and our saturday season starter as a freshman. Was their list maybe looking at MLB draft potential in their ranking? That should be the only reason Wicklander would be ranked ahead of Noland. Certainly not based on past performances.

Moore is not eligible for the draft in 2021. He’ll be high in the prospect rankings in 2022.

I really wish we could get Braylon to campus. He has a smooth/sweet/powerful swing and roams CF with the best of them.

I doubt he makes it to campus because I believe he will be a Top 10-15 pick in the MLB Draft.

When scouts started comparing Bishop to Ken Griffey Jr., I figured there was little chance he would make it to campus. His stock just keeps going up.

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BA updated these rankings this week. The most notable change is Bishop falling from sixth to 18th among high school players, and the scouting report that his bat will need to become more consistent to be a first-round selection.

Opitz also fell quite a bit, from 49th to 71st. Franklin is 17th and Wicklander is 69th among college players.

Matt, any info on baseball? Have many of the current players opted for the transfer portal? Any info on when baseball can begin in 2021? Thanks

There hasn’t been much transfer movement since the spring and there hasn’t been a primary player from last year’s team transfer. Based on previous playing time, the most notable transfer is Curtis Washington who is now at Purdue.

Unless I’ve missed someone, the others either haven’t played much or at all. Michael Brooks was a well regarded freshman infielder who transferred to UCF after the fall. Bryce Matthews had some potential and is at Washington State now.

The 2021 season can begin Feb. 19 and the team will begin practicing later this month. As of now Arkansas is going to play a three-game set that weekend against Texas, TCU and Texas Tech at the Rangers’ new park in Arlington.

Thanks Matt. Good info.

Not sure why Nolans would be on the list. He has struggled, plenty, I’d a RHP and doesn’t have overpowering stuff.