The MLB First-Year Player Draft begins tonight at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, and with 40 rounds the list of potential draft picks is a long one.
There are a few local players who could be chosen this year — former area players who have gone on to successful college careers, as well as a current high school player who is set to pitch for Argyle tonight in the Class 3A state title game in Austin.
A look at the local potential picks, in order of probability of being drafted:
Adam Choplick, LHP, Oklahoma (Ryan HS) — The folks at prospectdigest.com suggest Choplick will be a third- or fourth-round selection after a season in which he became the Sooners’ ace in a down year for the program, although one analyst ranks him No. 40 among all the prospects in the draft and as a second-round selection. The thing with Choplick is his potential and ceiling. Who wouldn’t want to take a chance on a 6-8, hard-throwing lefty? Choplick is exactly that, as he averaged 9.46 K/9 innings this year after a second Tommy John surgery as a freshman from which he seems to be fully recovered. He was originally drafted in the 17th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school, but opted to go to college. Guess here is that if he’s not chosen by the eighth or ninth round, he’ll head back to OU for his senior season and give it another run next year. If he falls past the 10th round, don’t expect to see him drafted at all.
Jonny Drozd, LHP, Texas Tech (Lake Dallas HS) — Another tall lefty, checking in at 6-7, Drozd has everything the majors want in a lefty reliever. At Texas Tech this season, Drozd is 7-0 out of the bullpen with a 2.03 ERA in 66 2/3 innings of work. Last year, Drozd started 10 games and relieved in five and put up a 3.48 ERA in 67 1/3 innings. He seems to have found his niche as a reliever, and as you know, a lefty relief pitcher can make a long career for himself. He’s a senior, so this is his last chance to get drafted. Expect him to go at some point on Saturday in Round 11-40.
K.J. Alexander, C, Dallas Baptist (Guyer HS) — After seeing his collegiate career end last week in the regionals, Alexander could be a late-round pick or end up signing a free agent deal with a team. He hit .242 with four homers and 34 RBIs as a senior and put up a .988 fielding percentage for the Patriots with just two errors behind the plate. He threw out eight of 14 potential base-stealers.
Parker Mushinski, LHP, Argyle HS — Mushinski has been on tear in the postseason for the Eagles and will look to cap it off with a win in Thursday’s Class 3A state championship game. The 6-0, 210-pound lefty touches the 90s with his fastball and can then use his secondary stuff to his advantage when it’s on. He’ll likely get passed up, but could be a late pick. No matter what happens, expect Mushinski to head to Lubbock soon after signing to play at Texas Tech, who is set to host its first Super Regional in program history under Denton native Tim Tadlock.