MLB Draft 2019: Late-Round Picks Who Could Become All-Stars
Day 3 of the MLB draft, which encompasses Rounds 11 through 40, is a crapshoot.
All of the signable top-tier college and prep players are off the board. What's left is a hodgepodge of lottery tickets.
Sometimes, though, lottery tickets pay off. For instance, the Los Angeles Dodgers took catcher Mike Piazza in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, and he now has a bust in Cooperstown.
Predicting a modern-day Piazza requires a ton of subjective guesswork. It's hard enough to project high-level draftees, let alone late-round leftovers.
However, the following half-dozen guys from Round 11 onward could be All-Stars at the highest level.
Some will fizzle. Some may opt for college and another crack at the draft down the road. But all have the potential for diamond-in-the-rough excellence.
C Carter Bins, Seattle Mariners
Speaking of Piazza, let's begin with a catcher.
The Seattle Mariners snagged Carter Bins with the 336th overall pick in the 11th round. If they sign the Fresno State backstop, the M's may have gotten a serious steal.
Bins boasts the arm strength and natural behind-the-plate instincts of a starting MLB catcher. He slashed a solid .269/.375/.403 with the Bulldogs in 2019, too.
If his offensive output trends upward, Bins has the makings of a a top-shelf talent at a premium position.
RHP Sebastian Keane, Boston Red Sox
As the above video attests, Sebastian Keane is a lifelong New York Yankees fan. However, the Boston Red Sox drafted him with the 347th pick at the end of the 11th round.
Keane, who was named the 2018-19 Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year in May, has a 9-1 record with a 0.35 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 51.2 innings for North Andover High School, per the Eagle-Tribune (via Christopher Smith of MassLive.com).
The Sox clearly didn't hold his Yankees allegiance against him. They should now pay what it takes to sign the prep sensation and hometown hero.
RHP Jared Southard, Los Angeles Angels
A prep star out of Texas' Rouse High School, Jared Southard boasts a fastball that touches the high 90s and an emerging curveball and slider.
He wrestles with command, as many young hurlers do, but he has the repertoire of an MLB-caliber starter with an ace ceiling and was MLB.com's 154th-ranked prospect coming into the draft.
He's committed to the University of Texas Longhorns, but the Los Angeles Angels should do what it takes to sign him after landing him 601st overall in the 20th round.
2B Edouard Julien, Minnesota Twins
Edouard Julien's numbers dipped in 2019, as he posted a .796 OPS in 54 games with Auburn. But in 2018, the second baseman put up a .954 OPS and broke Hall of Famer Frank Thomas' school record with 69 RBI as a freshman.
He may want to re-enter the draft next season to rebuild his stock. But the Minnesota Twins should try to reel him in after taking him 539th overall in the 18th round.
Any time you're talking about someone who bested the Big Hurt, you're talking about a name worth watching...and a late-round gem worth polishing.
RHP Jack Leiter, New York Yankees
Jack Leiter, the son of former big league pitcher Al Leiter, is almost certainly going to Vanderbilt.
That didn't stop the Yankees from selecting him with the 615th pick in the 20th round, though.
The elder Leiter pitched for the Yankees across parts of four seasons from 1987 through 2005. Perhaps Dad can step in and make a nostalgic pitch to his progeny.
In all likelihood, Leiter will take his mid-90s fastball, intriguing curveball and emerging slider to college. But the allure of Yankees pinstripes can't be dismissed.
OF Maurice Hampton, San Diego Padres
Much like Leiter, Maurice Hampton is probably heading to college. In Hampton's case, it's Louisiana State University, where he has a chance to be a two-sport star in baseball and football.
Yet the San Diego Padres rolled the dice and drafted Hampton with the 683rd overall pick in Round 23.
It would be a serious upset if the Friars yanked Hampton away from LSU. But the athletic outfielder has the tools to join the Padres' cadre of young talent, including infielder Fernando Tatis Jr., and guide San Diego to a title in the coming years.