2019 Signing Deadline Analysis


Nathan Rode and Shooter Hunt

Last Friday at 5 p.m. EDT was the signing deadline for the 2019 MLB Draft and it passed with minimal drama, unlike 2018. Just two picks in the top 10 rounds didn’t sign—RHP Brandon Sproat (Pace HS, FL) and C Wyatt Hendrie (Antelope Valley JC). Sproat, the seventh-round pick of the Texas Rangers is committed to Florida, while Hendrie, the Chicago Cubs’ 10th-round pick will head to San Diego State.

Today, we take a look at how the draft affected college baseball and recruiting with winners and losers from the signing deadline.

BIG WINNERS

Once again, Mississippi State made out pretty well, though they didn’t land a first-round pick like they did in 2018 with RHP J.T. Ginn. Even so, the only Top 500 recruit the Bulldogs lost was C Ethan Hearn (Mobile Christian School, AL), who signed with the Cubs for $950,000 in the sixth round. RHP K.C. Hunt (Ramapo HS, NJ) and OF Andre Tarver (Ringgold HS, GA) were on the PBR Draft Board, and eight more featured in the 2019 Overall Rankings, including RHP Landon Sims (South Forsyth HS, GA), C/RHP Logan Tanner (George County HS, MS), RHP Will Bednar (Mars Area HS, PA) and SS Kamren James (DeSoto Central HS, MS).

Mississippi has an incoming class that should have fans fired up. The Rebels had 11 players in the top 500 and none of them signed. Four were on the PBR Draft Board in SS Connor Walsh (Niceville HS, FL), OF Jerrion Ealy (Jackson Prep, MS), C Hayden Dunhurst (Pearl River Central HS, MS) and RHP Derek Diamond (Ramona HS, CA). Ealy was also a high-level football recruit so the amount he’ll contribute on the diamond is still to be determined, but there is a ton of talent headed to Oxford.

A year ago, Maryland got crushed with the loss of OFs Nick Decker and Jack Herman. Now they can celebrate with seven top 500 prospects headed to College Park. RHP Nick Dean (Bensalem HS, PA) and OF Bobby Zmarzlak (Westhill HS, CT) give the Terps some star power and upside, but they also get depth in OF Tucker Flint (Bishop Hendricken HS, RI), RHP Sam Bello (Iona Prep, NY), LHP Ryan Ramsey (Pascack Hills HS, NJ), SS Aaron Perez (All Hallows HS, NY) and RHP Connor Staine (West Morris Central HS, NJ).

In the fall, we highlighted notable recruiting classes in all the Power Five conferences, plus several mid-major—or power-major— programs. Brigham Young was one of those mid-majors and the Cougars went unscathed in the draft. It’s a pitching heavy class, led by the likes of LHP Cy Nielson (Spanish Fork HS, UT), RHP Carter Smith (Skyridge HS, UT), RHP Tyson Heaton (Yucapia HS, CA) and LHP Cutter Clawson (Laguna Beach HS, CA).

TOUGH LOSSES

Both Michigan State and Purdue were looking at strong recruiting classes that could help them compete in the Big Ten, but they won’t come to full fruition. The Spartans had five top 500 recruits, but lost two in OF Jase Bowen (Central Catholic HS, OH) and RHP Christopher Mokma (Holland Christian HS, MI). For the Boilermakers, it was probably evident in the spring that they would lose OF Josh Mears (Federal Way HS, WA), but LHP Adam Macko (Vauxhall Academy, AB) was popped in the seventh round by the Seattle Mariners and signed for $250,000. On top of that, LHP Brock Jones (W.F. West HS, WA) flipped his commitment to Washington after the coaching changes in West Lafayette.

While they did add a couple players this summer, the Arizona Wildcats surely will feel the effect of losing three of their top recruits in the top 10 rounds. RHP Andrew Dalquist (Redondo Union HS, CA) signed for $2 million as the third-round pick of the Chicago White Sox, RHP Jose Dicochea (Sahuarita HS, AZ) got $400,000 from the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round and then C Will Bartlett (IMG Academy, FL) was taken in the ninth round by the Cleveland Indians and got $275,000.

Florida International lost two of its four top 500 recruits in OF/LHP Erik Rivera (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, PR) and RHP Allan Hernandez (Doral Academy Charter School, FL), plus three others—SS Vaughn Grissom (Hagerty HS, FL), SS Glenn Santiago (International Baseball Academy, PR) and Leon Paulino (Florida Virtual School, FL).

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