No draft surprises for USF ... so far
Thursday's first five rounds of the MLB draft made it the easy day for USF baseball coach Lelo Prado. If any of his players -- current or future -- had been taken, he'd know he had no reasonable chance to keep them from taking a professional offer. Today will be different.
Prado will spend much of Friday in Sarasota, golfing as part of the opening Around the Horns stop. But he'll be keeping close tabs on the draft and when his players are taken. When will juniors Walter Diaz and Daniel Thomas be drafted? Will Prado see any other signees -- most notably Palm Beach's A.J. Regilo and Puerto Rico's Efrain Nieves -- to draft picks high enough to tempt them to skip college?
There were no USF players drafted Thursday, but that's not to say there wasn't reason to celebrate for Prado. Among those drafted was Louisville reliever Trystan Magnuson, who started with Prado as a skinny 6-foot-5, 150-pound walk-on. Prado remembers telling him he'd spend his whole first season lifting weights, and he's now listed at 6-7, 194 pounds. As a fifth-year senior, he could have signed a pro contract before the draft had Louisville's season ended. But because Louisville's still going -- with a home weekend meeting with Oklahoma State in super regionals -- he was part of the draft, and went 56th overall. He doesn't have the leverage of threatening to go back to school, but that same pick last year drew a signing bonus of more than $600,000.
Prado said if Louisville makes the College World Series, he'll make a trip to Omaha to cheer for a team largely comprised of kids he recruited and taught for years. He hasn't been to Omaha in about six years, he said, but it'll mean something to see his old team get there. It'll be that much more of a motivation for his wanting to get USF there as soon as possible. Friday's draft could play a small role on how soon that might be ...