High school 1st round picks

Here are this year’s 1st round picks that came from the high school ranks. Most of them will never play for the colleges to whom they have committed/signed. Some of them would have been on the Hogs future schedule.

Bobby Witt, SS. (#2 overall pick). Signed with Oklahoma.
Riley Greene, OF. (#5). Florida
C.J. Abrams, SS. (#6). Alabama
Brett Baty, 3B. (#12). Texas
Keoni Cavaco, SS. (#13). San Diego St.
Corbin Carrol, OF. (#16). UCLA
Quinn Priester, RHP. (#18). TCU
Daniel Espino, RHP. (#24). LSU
Blake Walston, LHP. (#26). NC State
Anthony Volpe, SS. (#30). Vanderbilt
Brennan Malone, RHP. (#33). North Carolina
JJ Goss, RHP. (#36). Texas A&M
Sammy Sinai, OF. (#37). Duke

Most of these will also likely never play for their respective colleges. (Texas A&M really goes after elite pitchers)

Gunnar Henderson, SS. (#42). Auburn
Matthew Thompson, RHP. (#45). Texas A&M
Nasim Nunez, SS. (#46). Clemson
Joshua Mears, OF. (#48). Purdue
Rece Hinds, SS. (#49). LSU
Kendall Williams, RHP. (#52). Vanderbilt
Josh Wolf, RHP. (#53). Texas A&M
Kyren Paris, SS. (#55). California
Trejyn Fletcher, OF. (#58). Vanderbilt
Yordys Valdez, SS. (#63). Miami
Matthew Lugo, SS. (#69). Miami
Jimmy Lewis, RHP. (#78). LSU

So, is it a good thing or a bad thing that none of those listed above had signed or commited to the Hogs?

On the other hand, how do the million dollar offer guys sign with Arkansas and spurn the pros - since it happens elsewhere in the SEC?

Apparently DVH does a good job of deciding who is not going to play in college & who likely will. Schools who sign kids who decide between it & a $1.5M bonus haven’t signed a top recruit, they’ve wasted their effort.

I know some kids suddenly jump up in the draft & others fall back, but it appears to me Dave does a very good job of hitting the sweet spot in recruiting.

On a somewhat related note, I saw a stat yesterday that said that of the 53 college players drafted in the first two rounds of the draft Monday night, more than 40% of them had played at Baum-Walker Stadium as a Razorback, an opponent (the vast majority), or in NCAA regional play. I’m sure the stats would be similar at other SEC venues, but I still found it very interesting. When you come watch the Hogs play, you’re getting to see much of the future of MLB baseball.

There were three first rounders in this year’s draft who played in the regional last weekend - two from Cal, one from TCU.

My son-in-law coached a youngster in High School that went late 1st round about 10 years ago. It was amazing to see the scouts with their jugs guns at his games. His bonus was over 1 million and he was a terrific young man. He never got beyond double A. Started as an OF and ended up on the mound.

He had committed to Vandy but after baseball finished his degree at Chattanooga.

Could not blame him for taking the cash.

IMG Academy in FL had 3 picks in the first 2 rounds… #'s 33, 49, and 52 overall! That must have been one salty team.

Lake Travis HS in Austin had the #'s 12 and 78 overall picks. Impressive also.

I only looked at the first 2 rounds, so both of these high schools might have had others drafted as well.

Unlike football and basketball, draft spots in baseball are sort of negotiated. Players who have early draft-round talent will tell teams they won’t sign for less than $X million. If they don’t get what they want, they go to college. If the teams think the number the player sets is too high, they won’t waste a high round pick on them. However, they’ll spend a late round pick on the off change the kid changes his mind. That’s why guys like Andrew B. dropped to round 31 coming our of HS. He’d have gone much higher (very early round) if he’d indicated a greater willingness to sign with a pro team at a lower number.

All of that is factored in to who every team recruits, who commits and what draft round the HS signees go. So just looking at list of HS first-rounders and who they’ve “committed” to play college ball for only tells a small piece of the story.

Most of the first rounders (and almost all of them in the late first round) negotiated up front to sign for less than slot value, or they would not have been drafted. If they said no to the lower amount (probably by about $250,000), then they would be passed upon. I am told that Dominic Fletcher (the top UA pick) is probably going to get above slot value. The best way to get over slot is to have three years of SEC experience under your belt and play at a high level in all three. That’s a great predictor of what you are going to be in the pros.

Interesting dynamic. So, what usually happens when a high school kid gets taken in the first round, then opts to go to school instead of sign (McLain, the UCLA 3B, and Ginn from Mississippi St both did it last year)? Did they simply change their mind on their number after the draft?