High school athletes taken in first round of 2019 MLB Draft

Photo: Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

High school athletes taken in first round of 2019 MLB Draft

Baseball

High school athletes taken in first round of 2019 MLB Draft

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High school athletes around the country are preparing to take the next steps in their careers, whether it’s at the college or professional level.

For the best of the best, their futures might be decided Monday.

Here is a running thread of the players selected in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

West team shortstop Bobby Witt Jr (15) throws to first base after forcing out East team shortstop Tyler Callihan (10) at second base during the fourth inning of the 2018 Perfect Game All-American Classic baseball game at Petco Park. (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images)

No. 2: Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals

The No. 1 player in the class who has been called the best shortstop prospect since Alex Rodriguez hit .500 with 15 home runs, 54 RBI and 62 runs scored. He has also pitched on occasion, recording two saves and striking out 18 batters with just one walk over 8.2 innings.

He has led Colleyville Heritage to a 39-3 record and No. 5 spot in the Super 25 entering the playoffs.

“A-Rod’s kind of always considered kind of the premier high school position prospect,” said Perfect Game’s Greg Sabers.

The outlet wasn’t around when Rodriguez was coming out of high school, but over the last 10 years, “(Witt’s) as good a high school prospect as we’ve seen.”

Hagerty (Oviedo, Fla.) outfielder/lefthander Riley Greene (Photo: Sharon’s Shots Photography)

No. 5: Riley Greene, Detroit Tigers

Greene, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right fielder,e hit .422 with eight home runs, 11 doubles, three triples and 38 runs scored and posted an on-base percentage of .554 this season.

Baseball America called the Hagerty High School (Oviedo, Florida) player “arguably the best overall hitter in the high school class” in the site’s mock draft and Greene was a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

East team shortstop CJ Abrams (1) forces out West team outfielder Logan Britt (25) at second base before throwing to first base to complete the double play during the third inning of the 2018 Perfect Game All-American Classic baseball game at Petco Park. (Photo: Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 6: CJ Abrams, San Diego Padres

The Padres took one of the fastest players in the draft, CJ Abrams, who boasts a 60-yard speed of 6.29 seconds.

The Blessed Trinity Catholic High School (Roswell, Geogia) star, named Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year, hit .432 with three home runs, 42 runs scored and drove in 27 RBI. He stole 33 bases.

Lake Travis third baseman Brett Baty (Photo: Donald Boyles)

No. 12: Brett Baty, New York Mets

One of the best hitters this season, Baty had a .624 batting average and .745 OBP with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. On the mound, he went 5-1 with a 0.84 ERA and three saves.

He’s 19-and-a-half years, old, which may have contributed to him going at No. 12 instead of higher, but the third baseman is headed from Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) to New York — unless he chooses to remain with his college commitment of Texas.

But Sabers thinks Baty might be more of a “finished product” than other, younger guys.

“You’re confident he’s going to step into the minor leagues and be able to hit right away,” he said. “He’s not a guy you’re fitting in your short season, your rookie ball for two years.”

(Photo courtesy of David Gallegos/Eastlake High School)

No. 13: Keoni Cavaco, Minnesota Twins

With a strong arm and good power at the plate, Keoni Cavaco hit .433 with eight home runs, 11 doubles and 21 RBI. He had an OPS of 1.375 as a senior. He also pitched 10 innings, striking out 15 and only allowing one run.

The third baseman/shortstop from Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, California) “totally changed his profile” this year, Sabers said. He got stronger at the plate and in the infield and rounded himself into the No. 13 player on Perfect Game rankings.

“Everybody’s known about him, he’s a good player … but nobody really had him in the first round (coming into this year), Sabers said “He’s a guy that just developed, and it’s fun to see those stories.”

Corbin Carroll (Clayton Christy/Lakeside Athletics)

No. 16: Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks

With a high batting average and good power numbers despite a smaller size than some others in the draft (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), Corbin Carroll was a Gatorade National Player of the Year finalist.

For Lakeside High School (Seattle), Carroll hit .540 with nine home runs, 26 RBI and scored 38 times. He had 22 walks and 11 stolen bases with a 1.206 slugging percentage. All that came in just 22 games.

He also hit .500 with nine steals at 18U National Team at Pan-Ams and is the No. 6 player on Perfect Game rankings.

ESPN’s Keith Law thinks Carroll is better than No. 16 in the draft. Why did 15 teams pass on him?

“I think it has less to do with him being a high school player and more to do with the fact that he’s 5-foot-10,” Law said. “Position players under 6 feet tall, college or high school, do face a slight bias against them. The industry still prefers taller players.”

West team pitcher Quinn Priester (12) pitches during the second inning the of the 2018 Perfect Game All-American Classic baseball game at Petco Park. (Photo: Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 18: Quinn Priester, Pittsburgh Pirates

Standing 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, Priester can throw a 97 mph fastball in the spring and catch balls at wide receiver for the football team in the fall.

But the right-hander’s true strength is in baseball. The Cary-Grove High School (Illinois) pitcher went 6-2 with a 1.20 ERA with 73 strikeouts and only 25 hits in 46.2 innings.

At the plate, Priester hit .315 with 20 RBI. He was named the Gatorade Illinois Baseball Player of the Year.

East team pitcher Daniel Espino (20) pitches during the first inning the of the 2018 Perfect Game All-American Classic baseball game at Petco Park. (Photo: Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)

No. 24: Daniel Espino, Cleveland Indians

Espino has hit 100 mph, has a sharp slider, and doesn’t get hit.

This season, he went 9-0 with 109 strikeouts in 44 innings. During that time, he gave up only eight hits, seven walks and two runs for Georgia Premier Academy (Bulloch County, Georgia)

Standing 6-foot-3 at 210 pounds, Espino is the No. 8-rated player in the class of 2019. Should he sign with the Indians, he would forego his commitment to Florida.

(Photo: Stephanie Smith)

No. 26: Blake Walston, Arizona Diamondbacks

Walston led New Hanover (Wilmington, North Carolina) to a remarkable season behind his 11-0 record with a 0.23 ERA and 120 strikeouts to just 17 walks in 61.2 innings, according to AthleticsNation.

The 6-foot-5, 175-pound left-handed pitcher is ranked as the No. 33 player in the country. His fastball sits in the low-90s and MLB.com’s Jim Callis called him “ulta-projectable” on the broadcast.

He reportedly won’t come cheap, but the Arizona Diamondbacks’ extra pool money for losing star players this offseason will come in handy in convincing him to come to the desert instead of North Carolina State.

Delbarton shortstop Anthony Volpe (Photo: Jared Lowy)

No. 30: Anthony Volpe, New York Yankees

The ninth shortstop taken in the MLB Draft, the Yankees got a guy hitting .500 with four doubles, six triples and 11 home runs for Delbarton (Morristown, New Jersey). He also has 33 RBI and 36 runs this season.

This season isn’t an aberration for Volpe. Over his four-year college career, Volpe has hit .486 for Delbarton. Still in the playoffs, he’s trying to finish his high school career on a high note before heading to the state next door and play for the Yankees.

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