BOZICH | Six Louisville players make Baseball America's Top 200 Draft prospects
Six Louisville baseball players are ranked among the Top 200 prospects for the MLB First-Year Player draft next month as are a pair of Kentucky pitchers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This is a tricky time for the most talented college baseball players.
They should be focused on finishing the season with gusto, trying to ensure their teams win conference tournaments and earning the best NCAA Tournament seed possible.
But there is the tiny matter of the Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, which begins June 9 and runs three days.
Nobody has more reason to be distracted than Louisville outfielder Corey Ray.
Baseball America magazine, the gold standard for fans of the baseball draft, honored Ray by featuring him on the cover of its 2016 Draft Preview edition.
In the magazine's mock draft, Ray is projected to be the fifth overall pick, taken by the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cards are also expected to have another player taken in the first round -- relief pitcher Zach Burdi by the Toronto Blue Jays with pick No. 21. The Baseball America scouting report says that Burdi has the best fastball of any college pitcher.
Overall, Louisville has six players ranked in the Baseball America's Top 153 prospects.
Here are the local players who made Baseball America's List of Top 200:
7. Corey Ray, Louisville, outfielder: Dynamic speed-power combination overshadows lack of polish in his game. (Yes, Ray is fifth in the mock draft, but seventh in the prospect rankings. I can't explain that.)
21. Zach Burdi, Louisville, right-handed pitcher: Cardinals' closer has best pure stuff in the draft with 97-100 mph fastball, 87-90 mph slider.
83. Kyle Cody, Kentucky, right-handed pitcher: Unsigned second-rounder in 2015 has performed better in 2016; big body, big fastball at his best.
92. Kyle Funkhouser, Louisville, right-handed pitcher: Unsigned 2015 first-rounder was coming on in May after poor start to season.
122. Drew Harrington, Louisville, left-handed pitcher: Good-enough fastball, above average slider have made him solid college starter; future in pen?
123. Zack Brown, Kentucky, right-handed pitcher: Performance (2-10 record, 5.70 ERA) will weigh down draft stock; plus fastball, solid-average slider will take him out high.
149. Blake Tiberi, Louisville, third baseman: Has present strength and power potential in left-handed swing; defense at third base remains fringy.
153. Nick Solak, Louisville second baseman: Lacks classic infield actions or swing but produces and runs enough for future utility role.
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