Ole Miss junior right-hander Bobby Wahl, the 2010 All-Met Player of the Year out of West Springfield, leads the group of area prospects in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft set for Thursday through Saturday.
Of current high school seniors, Riverdale Baptist center fielder Matthew McPhearson, T.C. Williams right-hander Alec Grosser and Madison infielder Andy McGuire are among local prospects who could be selected, most likely Friday in rounds three through 10, according to projections.
The 11th through 40th rounds are Saturday.
A player can slide in the draft or even get passed by entirely if his “signability” is in question. A player’s asking price can be more than a team is willing to spend in a given round, or a team might not think it can offer enough money to sway a player to sign professionally and bypass a college scholarship.
Here’s a look at the most highly sought local prospects, although others from the area could be selected as well. It could be a fun draft for St. John’s loyalists.
Ole Miss RHP Bobby Wahl (West Springfield): One of 22 semifinalists for national pitcher of the year, Wahl went 10-0 with a 2.03 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 97 and 2/3 innings, with 44 walks. He combined to shut out three nationally ranked teams. With a fastball clocked as high as 97 mph last summer, Wahl was the closer for USA Baseball’s college national team. The Cleveland Indians drafted Wahl in the 39th round out of high school. Baseball America projection: 36th choice
Riverdale Baptist CF Matthew McPhearson: Perhaps the fastest player in the draft class, McPhearson has signed with Miami. For Riverdale this season, he batted .477, with 31 runs, 23 RBI, 20 walks and a .598 on-base percentage and stole 27 bases in 30 attempts. He had seven extra-base hits (no homers). He rested a sore hamstring some games. Baseball America projection: 138th choice
T.C. Williams RHP Alec Grosser: The George Mason signee, who emerged from relative obscurity last summer after a head-turning performance at the Commonwealth Games, had what Northern Virginia coaches considered to be a very good but not tremendous senior season. He struck out 68 batters in 54 innings, with 21 walks. Scouts are less concerned about those stats than what he projects to be. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Grosser no longer will be splitting time between quarterbacking the football team and pitching. Grosser is perceived as being more signable than the other local high school prospects, perhaps in part because he is committed to a lower-profile college than the others. Baseball America projection: 159th.
Madison SS Andy McGuire: Projected by some as a third baseman, McGuire has a scholarship to Texas, so it likely will take a lofty pick to lure him. The member of the Team USA 18-and-under team from last summer is arguably the most scrutinized player in Northern Virginia, perhaps in part to the fact that he committed to Texas his sophomore year. Through the regular season, McGuire batted .429, with eight doubles and 17 RBI, and he drew 16 walks while striking out only five times. Baseball America projection: 198th.
Maryland LHP Jimmy Reed (St. John’s): The two-time ACC pitcher of the week this season got drafted in the 21st round by the New York Yankees last year but returned to the Terrapins to go 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA, two complete games and 74 strikeouts and 32 walks in 88 and 2/3 innings. He had eight saves in 2012. Baseball America projection: Outside the top 500 picks, but the ninth-best prospect in the mid-Atlantic region (Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, the District).
St. John’s SS Errol Robinson: Washington Catholic Athletic Conference coaches said that Robinson had a down season, and because Robinson’s future could be at second base, he has not commanded the attention of other elite shortstops. Even so, it’s not about what he’s done, it’s what he might do, although Robinson likely will not get chosen early enough for him to choose signing over playing at Ole Miss. Baseball America projection: Outside the top 500 picks, but the 15th-best high school or college prospect in the mid-Atlantic region.
Virginia LHP Scott Silverstein (St. John’s): His two shoulder surgeries could scare off some teams, or that could indicate a clean bill of health given his 10-1 record and 2.86 ERA for the Cavaliers this season. The 32nd-round pick by the Washington Nationals in 2008 has struck out 69 batters and walked 25 in 88 innings. Baseball America projection: Outside the top 500, but the 16th-best prospect from a Virginia high school or college.
Radford SS Jeff Kemp (Spalding): A 31st round pick of the Los Angeles Angels last season, Kemp this spring batted .284 with 11 doubles, two triples and 10 homers and drove in 34 runs. He also walked 33 times and got hit 13 times. Baseball America projection: Outside the top 500, but the 19th-best prospect from a Virginia high school or college.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 68:15
Hours and minutes that Wilson will have been clinging to a 1-0 lead over Maret in the D.C. High School Baseball Classic. The teams played into the bottom of the fifth inning Sunday at Nationals Park before rain hit. The game will be completed at 2:30 p.m. today at Banneker Field.
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