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College | Rankings | 5/22/2020

Top 10 College: Never Drafted

Patrick Ebert         Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Nick Swiney (NC State Athletics)

2020 MLB Draft: Top 250 College | 2021 MLB Draft: Top 200 College | 2022 MLB Draft: Top 100 College

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It’s not uncommon for a prospect to go undrafted out of high school only to hear their name called in the first round two or three years later after refining their craft at school. That’s not to say they went from a total unknown to blue chip prospect once they arrived on campus though as there are a variety of reasons to go undrafted.

The University of Virginia has had a successful track record of having their top recruits withdraw their names from the draft pool, from Nathan Kirby to Mike Vasil and Brandon Neeck to Kyle Teel, who recently announced his intentions to forego the draft process. Other times prospects won’t formally take themselves out of the draft, but they’ve made their commitment about going to school well known within the scouting community.

Then of course, players simply get better, develop physically and refine their craft while at school, whether well-known on the circuit as a prep or flying under the radar until announcing their presence in college. In 2015 Casey Mize graduated as the No. 351 ranked player in the country according to Perfect Game after making the rounds on the summer circuit, running his fastball up to 92 mph while showing well at every stop though he ultimately went undrafted. The rest is history as Mize continued to excel while at Auburn, showing an uptick on his electric arsenal while performing under the brightest of lights before being selected by the Detroit Tigers as the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.
 
Jump to the 2020 MLB Draft and the Tigers are once again on the clock and their first pick could very well be another player who went undrafted out of high school. Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson arrived on campus as a younger freshman and like Mize was recognized on the national circuit, checking in at No. 241 in the final class of 2017 rankings. What Torkelson has been able to do since arriving on campus has been extremely well documented, having added strength while showing some of the best raw power college baseball has seen in the last few years. Also in contention for the top pick is New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales, who unlike Torkelson, went under the radar as a prep as he stayed close to home but even then showed the offensive tools. Not having the same type of prep resume as other likely first rounders this June, Gonzales has made up for lost time while with the Aggies, claiming accolade after accolade, and hit after hit at every stop he has made since arriving on campus, forcing the entire baseball world to know about the Vail, Arizona native. 


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