Remember These Names For 2017

By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

Not only has the 2014 Draft come and gone, so has the signing deadline. Now we know officially who is going to college and who has started their pro careers. For players that head off to a four-year institution, they must wait until the 2017 draft to have their names called—unless they turn 21 within 45 days of the draft. In that case, they would be draft-eligible sophomores and available in 2016. Players that head off to a junior college will be eligible again in 2015 and 2016.

While the Astros and the saga with LHP Brady Aiken (Catherdal Catholic HS, CA) dominated headlines last week, let’s take a look way down the road, at the 2017 Draft. For many players, time is a simple need for their development. Some aren’t ready for pro ball out of high school, but after three years of playing at the college level, they can turn into high-level prospects. C/OF Kyle Schwarber wasn’t necessarily a household name when he graduated from Ohio’s Middletown HS in 2011, but fast forward to 2014 and he was one of the top college hitters in the country and went fourth overall to the Cubs.

If we knew who the next Kyle Schwarber would be, we’d probably use that gift in Las Vegas. However, let’s take a look at some players that didn’t necessarily get a lot of national attention, if any, and have a chance of developing into something more. Below are 10 players I saw play in high school that I feel could become more well-known during their collegiate careers. The criteria isn’t exactly black and white, but I did try to avoid some big names like LHP Mac Marshall (Parkview HS, GA) and LHP Jake Latz (Lemont HS, IL). Both Louisiana State recruits, those two are obvious. The names below might be less so.

Andrew Bechtold, SS, Maryland (Garnet Valley HS, PA)
A 37th-round pick of the Rangers, Bechtold is off to College Park to join the Terrapins as they debut in the Big Ten. He has a lean, athletic frame at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds with room for added strength. He has good bat speed and a sound swing, leading to consistent, hard contact. Speed is not a big part of his game so he’ll likely shift to third base.

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