The 2019 MLB Draft came and went as it does every year, as the three-day event concluded on Wednesday night with 1,217 amateur players hearing their names selected. Among those many draftees were three Texas Longhorns and four members of David Pierce’s 2019 class.
Here’s a run-down of who got drafted, where they went, and what it means for the Texas baseball program moving forward.
Round 1, Overall pick No. 12 (Mets)
Baty went just around where he was expected to go, as he was widely considered to be one of the best hitting prospects this year’s draft had to offer. At a slot value of $4.37 million, don’t expect to see Baty suiting up for the Longhorns next year.
Round 7, Overall pick No. 226 (Astros)
A fantastic spot for Henley to land, he would get to work with the lauded Astros pitching and development coaches. Henley went a tad higher than his pre-draft ranking, but after three solid seasons in burnt orange following a promising high school career, Henley will most likely be turning pro. Hopefully it isn’t too long before we see him in Austin’s backyard throwing for the Round Rock Express en route to a spot with one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB. And with a slot value of $188.9k, the money won’t be bad, either.
Round 8, Overall pick No. 253 (Brewers)
Not too far after Henley was selected, teammate David Hamilton saw his name go off board to the Milwaukee Brewers. Though Hamilton lost all of last year after rupturing his achilles in the offseason, he’s still seen as a dynamic athlete with great range and speed. As I mentioned in the draft preview, it may benefit him, though, to come back to Austin to prove to scouts and MLB teams that he’s fully recovered from his injury in hopes of a higher draft selection and signing bonus. It depends what the Brewers decide to offer him, but at his slot value of $162k, Hamilton could easily opt for the professional route.
Round 14, Overall pick No. 432 (Cubs)
Easily the most consistent Longhorn of last year, Reynolds batted .272 with 32 RBI and 24 runs to go with four home runs. The All Big-12 honorable mention was the third and final Longhorn to go in the draft. It would be a big blow to Texas should he decide to join the Cubs organization, as his decent hitting numbers and excellent defensive work at the hot corner would be greatly missed. Like Hamilton, this decision isn’t set in stone. But you couldn’t blame Reynolds for wanting to join the Cubs, either.
Round 20, Overall pick No. 601 (Cubs)
How did the 154th-best overall prospect in the draft, according to MLB.com, slide all the way to the 20th round at pick number 601? Southard only just recently exploded onto the scene. The kid is huge (6’2” 215 pounds) and throws hard, but experienced an uptick in attention after topping out at 95 mph on his fastball this past season at Rouse. He’s raw and difficult to project, though the speed and talent as a thrower is most certainly there. It’s most likely that MLB teams are skeptical of his ability, and want to see him put together some good years and make modest improvement at the collegiate level before seriously committing to him.
Round 36, Overall pick No. 1089 (Rockies)
Ardoin’s late selection from the Rockies isn’t a surprise, as most players picked this late aren’t expected to join the club, but instead are selected to build a relationship with the player. Ardoin needs some work and development, but the catcher has some serious skills and potential that could translate to a much higher draft pick some day. Excellent arm strength and pop time have resulted in a 85-percent caught stealing rate. His hitting power is a work in progress, but he’s batting the ball well at a .441 clip.
Another signee who will find his way to Austin despite being drafted, the potential for Ardoin at a position of need for Texas is a massive win for the UT program.
I would like to thank everyone who has stood along side of me through this process.. I am proud to announce that I will further my academic and athletic career at the University of Texas! #hookem pic.twitter.com/Oj9HihUbun— Silas Ardoin (@SilasArdoin5) August 17, 2018
Round 39, Overall pick No. 1187 (Red Sox)
I was waaaaay off on my draft prediction for this kid. Baseball America and fangraphs both LOVED him and had him ranked in the top 150 prospects for the draft. Perhaps it was well known by MLB clubs that he intended to go to school over straight to the pros, and that makes sense for Faltine. A capable player anywhere you put him on the field, Faltine also has a solid pitching repertoire that gives manager David Pierce some options with the righty once he arrives on the Forty Acres.
Longhorns should be excited Faltine fell so low and is now coming to Austin — he should be a real difference maker for the Horns, wherever he ends up playing.
Congrats to all those current and future Longhorns selected in the MLB Draft. Even in a down year for the program, the future looks bright.
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