No USF in Baseball America draft preview
Nobody covers the baseball draft as well as Baseball America, which has a huge database of potential draft picks each year, canvassing the nation's top college and high school prospects.
So it's curious that amid all this talk of USF signees like Chase Greene, Chad Taylor and Ray Delphey being picked in the first 10 rounds, as well as Bulls junior pitcher Shawn Sanford, there are no references to any players affiliated with USF in Baseball America's state of Florida draft preview.
BA has 27 prospects from Florida high school and colleges among its national top 200 -- which equates to about six rounds -- and goes on to rank the top 75 prospects from the state, which would logically project to being the Florida players expected to go in the top 15-20 rounds. Again, not a mention of any player at or headed to USF.
This, of course, is welcome news to USF coach Lelo Prado, who would like to have as many of his signees make it to campus as possible. The Bulls have lost key returning top-of-the-order bats in each of the last two years in Walter Diaz and Addison Maruszak. Ultimately, it's not where a prospect is drafted, but what the contract offer is -- freshman shortstop Sam Mende was a 40th-round pick last summer, yet the Yankees offered him a six-figure signing bonus normally associated with a pick in the first 10 rounds. (And he still chose USF.)
So USF is in a different situation from Florida, for instance, which has eight signees ranking in the national top 200, and another eight returning players ranked in the top 75 in the state. There's a lot more talent on the line in Gainesville, but the Gators are in position to lose a big part of it to the draft ...