Draft journal: Connor Scott the next first-rounder for Plant?

Connor Scott watches his solo home run fly out of the park during a Class 8A, District 5 semifinal. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
Connor Scott watches his solo home run fly out of the park during a Class 8A, District 5 semifinal. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
Published June 2

In a Major League Baseball Draft that could feature several local players in the first five rounds, Plant outfielder/left-handed pitcher Connor Scott is likely the best. Scott is projected by MLB.com's mock draft to go midway through the first round. Both the Marlins (13th pick) and the Rays (16th) could get a shot at Scott.

"I'd say anywhere in the 13 to 16 range is about right," said Plant coach Dennis Braun.

If Scott is selected as expected, he would be the second first-rounder in three years at Plant. Kyle Tucker was taken fifth overall in 2015 by the Astros.

Scott was a four-year varsity player for the Panthers and drew scouts to most of his games this season. At 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, he was a dangerous hitter (.526, five home runs in 20 games) and a solid pitcher (3-0, 2.13 ERA in 23 innings).

He was hampered by a hamstring injury in the second half of the season and sat out three weeks. When he did return he was limited to designated hitter.
But that hasn't scared off scouts. In the weeks prior to the draft, he worked out for several teams.

Braun has seen him play for four years and believes he may be the most talented player he has had.

"He is probably the most all-around athlete of any of them," Braun said. "He's the total package. He can hit, he can throw. He's fast. He can do it all."

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Warriors trio could hear names called

Calvary Christian seniors Matheu Nelson, Eric Kennedy and Justin Bench already have Division I-A offers. And all three have a good chance of being taken in the draft.

Nelson may be the best prospect. He is a four-year starter with an above-average arm who rarely made mistakes behind the plate.

"Best defensive player in the state, maybe the country if you ask me," Calvary Christian coach Greg Olsen said.

Nelson had 135 RBIs and 15 homers in his career with the Warriors. He is committed to Florida State. He said he'll decide about his future after the draft.

"I think of it as two winning lottery tickets," Nelson said. "If I don't get drafted, I get to go to Florida State. If I do get drafted and I take it, I'm living out my dream of playing Major League Baseball. If I get drafted then I get to start my journey early. If not, then it's three great years at Florida State and whatever happens after that happens."

Kennedy is a speedy centerfielder who hit .449 in his four years with the Warriors. He is committed to Texas and could be a later-round pick.

Same goes for second baseman Bench, who is committed to Mississippi. He had 85 RBIs and 20 doubles in his time at Calvary Christian. He is also a very smooth infielder.

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Keep an eye on…

• King shortstop Addison Barger. He is projected to go in the first five rounds. This season he hit .354 and had 11 extra-base hits, including four triples. He is a very good middle infielder who is committed to Florida.

• Former Bishop McLaughlin pitcher Frank German. He was 8-3 with a 1.58 ERA and had 108 strikeouts in 91 ⅓ innings pitched as a junior at North Florida this season. He is considered a top 100 prospect by MLB.com, which would put him in the first five rounds.

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