Major League Baseball draft-and-follow is returning. What is "draft-and-follow"? An MLB team can select a player this July and not sign him, and still have a chance to retain his rights. (This is mildly similar to what the Boston Celtics did with regards to Larry Bird in the late-1970's. Boston drafted the Indiana State player, who returned to school, then had a breakout season. The Celtics signed him before the draft, and the rest became history.) I’m going to take a look today at how this could play out.
Sources: Texas prep RHP Cole Phillips (Arkansas commit) sustained a partial UCL tear earlier this week. Tommy John surgery is scheduled for next week.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) April 1, 2022
He was the biggest spring riser in a loaded HS P class, hitting 100 mph w/43 K/5 BB in 23 IP. 20th here: https://t.co/srzr1YGQK2
Cole Phillips won't be hurting for college offers. It's very possible he "settles" for Arkansas, expecting to redshirt as a recuperating freshman. However, two other viable options exist. A team with a decent spending limit on signing bonuses could gamble on Phillips, as the Cubs did with Dylan Cease. Or, Phillips could instead, enroll at a junior college.
If he ends up at a junior college, the team that drafts him would (presumably) have access to his medical and workouts. If Phillips is good to go, and ready to charge into his first actual college season with vigor, he rolls to whichever school takes him for the 2024-25 campaign, unless his draft status skyrockets. If he has a bit of a setback, the team that did the "draft-and-follow" can sign him (with no blowback) in the range of a $240,000 bonus. The player gets a measure of safety. The MLB organization can have first choice, if it works both ways. And draft fans can pay attention to junior college ball for a valid reason.
Would you monitor a junior college player if the Cubs might have the "draft-and-follow" option on him?
This poll is closed
I guess it depends
Junior Cleves? Play baseball?
Here’s one update of a draft leaderboard for college players:
Here’s an updated stuff+ leaderboard for college. Pitchers that didn’t reach the sample requirement are not included.— (@mason_mcrae) March 31, 2022
Lots of big names made it, including Ben Joyce, who had the second-best slider, but its sample didn’t meet the quota. pic.twitter.com/Fqdrtu0nd9
One possible pick for the Cubs
In a Baseball America Mock Draft, Daniel Susac, a catcher from Arizona, gets mocked to the Cubs. While I have no serious qualms about Susac, drafting on positional need in baseball in the first round isn't usually a wise idea. Susac’s bat is the draw so far. A power-over-average guy, his height (6-5) could be problematic to him staying behind the plate.
I think they'll grab another bat with a degree of defensive clarity.
Gilby long ball gives us the lead!— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball) April 3, 2022
https://t.co/DiAD3jsQBz#GBO // #OTH // #BeatVandy pic.twitter.com/GmmK0j5Y4X
Peyton Graham just hit a three-run homer to give Oklahoma a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning of a rubber game against Texas in Arlington.— Teddy Cahill (@tedcahill) April 3, 2022
The Preseason All-American has had some BIG hits this season.
Afterburn (3rd round or later possibles)
Your daily dose of Ben Joyce:
Coach Vitello should get fined $1000 by the NCAA for every game he puts Ben Joyce in when they are leading by 10+ runs. pic.twitter.com/cxNfs4znjI— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast (@11point7) March 31, 2022
And a few others:
Knew this ball was tattooed, but didn't realize at the time that this Matthew Ellis homer was 118.3 off the bat, the hardest hit ball on record in the college trackman era. He's also accounted for a 485 foot & two more over 440 feet. That'll play.#BigCountry | @IndianaBase https://t.co/23KYetBtgX pic.twitter.com/dqPdNZPB3h— Burke Granger (@burkegranger) March 31, 2022
Tweeting this thought out at 4:00 am so I don’t forget. Jordan Beck barreled two balls tonight and both on pretty good Carter Holton change ups down/away. Beck was able to extend his long arms out and pull to the left side. Here’s a 3rd inning single. pic.twitter.com/2d8m6V8dsU— Burke Granger (@burkegranger) April 3, 2022
1-2-3. Five K's for Chazz.— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) April 3, 2022
OF Dylan Beavers (Jr.) continues to hit mistakes, driving this ball to RF for a double. Has exploded for three knocks today after being held to just one hit over the first two games of the series. Currently a HR shy of the cycle #PGDraft @CalBaseball @PGCollegeBall pic.twitter.com/KsdmiNMBzc— Perfect Game Four Corners (@PG_FourCorners) April 3, 2022
Class of 2024:
First look at Chase Dollander (rhp, Tennessee); impressed would be an understatement. Plays catch at 95-96 (t98); effortless velo that he carried for duration. Was able to pitch off fastball & miss bats with it. 84-87 mph slider w/ late bite.— Burke Granger (@burkegranger) April 3, 2022
8IP, 3H, 2ER, 1BB, 6K (W, 8-0). pic.twitter.com/JA4nR0KIZY