ACC Prospects on Draft Watch
Major League Baseball will hold their entry level draft on June 4. Between now and then, scouts from all 30 teams will be busy traveling far and wide looking at as many draft eligible players as they can fit into their schedule. From high school to college, and everywhere in between. This is an important time of year for both MLB and for the players who are about to make what could amount to life-changing decisions.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has had their share of high profile draft selection over the years. This season looks to be no different. Recently, MLB put together a list of the Top 100 Prospects and the ACC had some of its players included. Here are the names and where they are ranked on this list.
Joey Bart, of Georgia Tech, was ranked #9 in this group. He was drafted out of high school by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 27th round back in 2015. He chose instead to head to college and play for the Yellow Jackets. Bart is considered the best college catcher in the draft. In his first two seasons behind the dish for the Yellow Jackets, Bart has thrown out 40% of would be base stealers. His footwork and quick release are what set him apart from other catchers in this draft.
At #39 is first baseman Seth Beer, of the Clemson Tigers. He quickly gained notice for himself by being named both Freshman of the year and College player of the year back in 2016. In his first two years for the Tigers, Beer has put up solid numbers. He has a slash line of .333/.506/.651, with 34 home runs. He has struck out 62 times while walking 126 times. So far this season for Clemson, his numbers are similar to those of his first two years. Beer has spent the last two summers playing for team USA, gaining valuable experience playing against international competition. He could be a first-round pick, though there are questions about his power from the left side of the plate with a wood bat.
Checking in at #50 is right-handed pitcher Griffin Roberts of Wake Forest. He was drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round of the 2017 draft. He might be the first Demon Deacon pitcher taken in the first round since Kyle Sleeth was taken back in 2003. Roberts possesses the best breaking ball in the draft according to scouts. His slider is in the mid-80 range, while his fastball tops out between 90-95 mph with sink. Last season was spent in the Wake Forest bullpen, and some scouts think that’s where Roberts is best suited.
At #60 is Virginia outfielder Jake McCarthy. He was also was drafted out of high school by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 23rd round of the 2015 draft. He moved into the Cavaliers starting lineup as a sophomore and hit .328 with a .425 on-base percentage. McCarthy led the ACC in stolen bases his sophomore year swiping 27 in 29 attempts. A fleet of foot OF who can go get the baseball. One knock against McCarthy is he does not hit for much power. It could be because of a flat swing that scouts have noticed.
At #65 is a son of a former big leaguer, Griffin Connie of Duke, whose Dad Jeff had a big league career with a couple of different teams. Son Griffin has had to wait his turn with the Blue Devils. Griffin played very little his freshman year and when he did, the extra base hits were hard to come by. Connie would finish his first year with Duke having hit zero home runs. His sophomore year was a different story, as Griffin would finish with 13 long balls. He would follow that up by leading the Cape Cod league that summer in home runs with nine. He was named college circuits top prospect. Connie is considered one of the best power hitters in the draft as he can drive the ball to all fields.
Brett Kinneman of North Carolina State comes in at #79. The outfielder was put into the Wolfpack lineup earlier in his freshman year. He has provided solid production during his first two campaigns at NC State. However, he has struggled to make consistent contact with a wood bat down on the Cape. This season for the Wolfpack he is putting bat on ball. And because of that he has cut his strikeouts down and is challenging for the lead in Division 1 for the least amount of strikeouts per at-bat.
Daniel Lynch is a left-handed pitcher out of Virginia and is ranked #88 on this list. His first two seasons with Virginia were difficult ones. He was hit a lot, worked on his delivery on the Cape, and started to turn things around. At 6 feet 4 inches Lynch has good command of his fastball that hit 88-92 on the radar gun. He throws an above-average changeup that has deception and movement. His breaking stuff was good on the Cape. Since returning to school, his secondary pitches have not been as sharp.