Based on the mock drafts and myriad prospect rankings clogging cyberspace, USF's showing in this week's big-league draft could be as lackluster as the season that preceded it.
No Bull will hear his name called tonight, when the first 78 picks (rounds 1-2, competitive balance Rounds A and B) are announced, and the odds of USF being represented on Tuesday (rounds 3-10) are modest.
By its conclusion Wednesday afternoon, conventional wisdom (though few drafts are conventional) suggests the Bulls, who finished 26-27 this past season, could have three players drafted.
USF has had at least three players taken every year since 2015. Last year, four Bulls were picked in the first 15 rounds.
The most attractive prospect this time around appears to be 6-foot-4 right-handed closer Nelson Alvarez, a junior who had far fewer struggles with his velocity (typically 92-94 mph) than his consistency (4-3, 4.08 ERA, eight saves, 43 strikeouts, 24 walks) in 2019.
Rumblings around the program indicate Alvarez could be a Tuesday draftee, though he’s not listed among Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects.
The other possible draftees ― senior first baseman Joe Genord and senior outfielder Chris Chatfield ― likely won’t be as fortunate, mostly because they have no more collegiate eligibility and, consequently, no draft leverage.
Genord, USF’s lone first-team All-American Athletic Conference pick, led the Bulls in average (.333), home runs (13), doubles (14) and RBI (52) in ’19. He exited USF ranked third in career homers (44) and ninth in career RBI (163).
Chatfield, a Spoto High alumnus, struggled with consistency at the plate throughout his career (.226 career average) despite possessing arguably the team’s most fluent swing. He departed with 26 career homers, 109 RBI and 32 doubles.
The draft begins tonight at 7, and will be broadcast live in its entirety on MLB Network. It also can be followed online at mlb.com.
Contact Joey Knight at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.