Eveld, Lawson lead Bulls' draft prospects
A year after watching two underclassmen and five signees get selected, USF coaches probably will emerge from this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft with minimal perspiration.
Redshirt junior RHP Tommy Eveld, a converted Bulls football player who established himself as USF's closer (2.21 ERA, nine saves) this past season, clearly is the Bulls' top prospect in this year's draft, which starts Thursday. Equipped with physical upside (6-foot-5) and a fastball in the mid-90s, Eveld has an outside shot at being taken in the top 10 rounds.
His possible role at the next level? "I could see pro ball going either way with him," Bulls pitching coach Billy Mohl said.
"I'm not saying he's going to turn into a Jacob deGrom-type, or he could be one of those guys who comes in and maybe two years from now is throwing 97 to 100 (mph). I don't know. I'll let them decide...but I think he could go either way."
Junior RHP Brandon Lawson, a Hernando High alumnus who struck out 111 in 101.1 innings this past season, could follow Eveld off the draft board. Among USF commitments or signees, Brandon LHP Antonio Velez (273 strikeouts in last two years) and Jacksonville Atlantic Coast RHP/1B D.J. Roberts appear to have the best shots at being selected.
Still, 2016 isn't expected to match last year's would-be pillaging, when the draft laid claim to USF's Friday night starter (Jimmy Herget), closer (Tommy Peterson) and a quintet of signees. All five, however, enrolled at USF.