Texas shortstop David Hamilton has been selected in the eighth round of the MLB draft, going No. 253 overall to the Milwaukee Brewers.
It’s quite possible that the junior will bypass the professional ranks and return to Texas due to missing the entire 2019 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, though being selected as early as the eighth round will certainly impact that decision.
Hamilton, who was a key member of the Longhorns 2018 College World Series appearance, is a left-handed batter who lacks the ideal power at the plate but makes up for it with a reliable amount of contact and quickness between the bases. However, it’s that athleticism — as would be the case with any athlete at this level who is recovering from an Achilles injury — is in question having missed the entire season.
Hamilton, at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, built a reputation for being fast both in the base path and at his position at shortstop. But it was hard for teams to get a general idea of his progression this season compared to 2018 with Hamilton sitting out. And without anything on film to show scouts, it’s difficult for clubs to have an idea of where he is in his recovery and how the injury has affected him as a ballplayer.
If Hamilton returns he could use a medical redshirt year, which would give him two more seasons on the Forty Acres. With his lack of power at the plate already a red flag, or a mark on his resume, in addition to his recovery from a brutal Achilles injury, returning to Texas would benefit Hamilton both from a skill and physical conditioning standpoint.
Prior to missing the 2019 season, Hamilton has made 123 starts in 125 career appearances at Texas, recording five home runs and 57 RBI. In 2018, which saw Hamilton improve statistically nearly across the board, he earned All-Big 12 second-team honors.
Hamilton has until July 15 to return to Texas or sign with Milwaukee.