Coach Brad Bohannon, fresh off his second season at the Capstone, will watch the MLB Draft with a wary eye for the next three days. Bohannon and staff signed what is now considered the 10th ranked recruiting class for next season. However unlike the other sports, baseball will likely lose the diamonds of the class to the professional ranks. High school and junior college players are eligible to be picked, as well as any current players that have been out of high school for three years, or will be at least 21 years old by July 4th of this year.
The star of the signing class, shortstop C J Abrams from Alpharetta, GA, is considered one of the very best players in the country, and could be as high as the fifth pick in the draft. The optics of signing Abrams is great for the program, but in reality there is no chance he will make it to campus.
Another product of the Peach State, SS/CF Myles Austin, is another one to keep an eye on. Austin has been ranked up and down the draft board, anywhere from late first round to second or third round. Bohannon thinks there is around a 65% chance Austin will go pro.
Left-handed pitcher Connor Prielipp out of Tomah, WI might be the key to the class. Prielipp has the stuff to be a Friday night level starter in the SEC, and the coaching staff will be on pins and needles waiting on his decision following his pick.
Catcher/OF Owen Diodati is a big, 6’3” 210 pound slugger out of Ontario, Canada and would be a big get for Bohannon if he enrolls in school. Canadian players are harder for the scouts to peg because of the short high school seasons necessitated by the weather. That being said, Diodati could be taken in a range that would entice him to sign.
Others in the class could possibly be drafted, but hopefully not in range that would preclude them from coming to Tuscaloosa.
Current players looking to hear their names called include second baseman Morgan McCullough, who hit .309 in his junior season. Redshirt junior pitcher Brock Love could be a later round pick, as could junior pitchers Wil Freeman and Casey Cobb. Catcher/third baseman Brett Auerbach is eligible after his junior season as well. Redshirt junior pitcher Davis Vainer, has already graduated and has signed with Arizona as a grad transfer, but could also be picked and sign. Junior pitcher Deacon Medders, a Tuscaloosa native, had a big strikeout season and also looks to be selected.
Players that have finished their eligibility and could be drafted are pitcher Sam Finnerty, outfield Joe Breaux, outfielder Keith Holcombe, and pitcher Jeremy Randolph.
If two of Abrams, Austin, Prielipp, and Diodati make it to campus that would be counted as a win for Bohannon. Abrams would absolutely be a program changer, but don't hold your breath on him. There is a chance with the other three, and if they all make it to town, that would be a coup not seen in Tuscaloosa in several years.
The scholarship limits and the dynamic of the draft make college baseball coaching the hardest job in sports. No other sport has as much unknown to deal with.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it
Abrams taken sixth overall by the Padres.
two seven rounds, no other player linked to Alabama has been selected.
Also still on the board after
two seven are Ole Miss 5-star RB signee Jerrion Ealy and LSU 4-star DB signee Maurice Hampton. It looks like they’ll be playing football this fall.