Past and Future: Bears in the MLB Draft (Part One: Hitters)

CHEESE but we love it. - Mike Stobe

The first part of a two part series on Baylor's MLB draft history and the potential future representatives of the Bears in America's Pastime.

With the 2013 MLB draft approaching quickly, now is as good a time as any to look back on the six players drafted and signed from last year's historically good Baylor squad, as well as ahead to any potential draftees from this year's edition of the Bears. Baylor's not had much recent success in the major leagues, with only two alumni currently active, and one on a major league DL, so this class of three hitters and three pitchers represent Baylor fans' hope to have someone specific to cheer for in the future (if you do that kind of thing.)

Max Muncy was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 5th round of the 2012 draft, after a solid junior season with the Bears where he hit for a .322 avg, with a .494 slg and .418 obp. He was sent to the Athletics' full season single-A team, the Burlington Bees, where he showed some pop and got on base a decent amount, especially considering the change in competition and equipment. This year to date, Muncy's been on the A+ Stockton Ports, posting slash line of .282/.411/.485 (.896 OPS), with 9 home runs and 34 walks to 32 strikeouts in 44 games. He does appear to have both a better control of the strike zone and of the bat as compared to the rest of the Cal League. According to some scouting/analysis pages, his tools and makeup show the potential for an every day major-leaguer.

Josh Ludy was named both a Baseball American and an ACBA All-American last year as a senior catcher/DH for the Bears, posting a slash line of .362/.634/.455 with 16 home runs. He was drafted by the Philidelphia Phillies in the 8th round, as part of a moderately weak catching class. Ludy was placed in single-A Lakewood for his first professional season, and hit .271/.365/.441 across 32 games. He started the year with the A+ Clearwater Threshers, but only played 4 games before being sent back to the BlueClaws, where he's played 5 games. It's unclear if the reason that he's only played 9 total games is injury or such, but these are not very encouraging stats. In a small sample size (26 AB), he's batting .214 with no homers and 8 strike outs.

Logan Vick hit .345/.504/.441 as a starting outfielder for the Bears last year in 64 games, and was drafted in the 11th round by the Cleveland Indians. He played 22 games for low-A Mahonig Valley, and didn't exactly set the world on fire, hitting only .181/.302/.222, with a 11/15 BB/K ratio. He's started the year in A ball, playing left field for the Lake County Captains while hitting a much nicer .286/.400/.412 with a home run and 23 walks to 27 Ks in 38 games.

Now, on to the future. Most of this year's seniors are pitchers, and I'll be addressing them at another time, along with the three pitchers drafted from last year's team. I'm no great draft foreseer, sadly, but I will update this post as time goes on with information from those more in the know than I.

One hitter to know is redshirt junior 2B Lawton Langford. Langford hit .285/.314/.413 during the regular season, with 31 walks to 27 Ks, while providing good defense. Nathan Orf, listed currently as an outfielder, was only hit by a pitch 12 times this year as compared to last year's almost-record-setting 35, but leads the team with a .380 avg, and has walked 24 times to 25 strikeouts. Senior OF/3B Cal Towey has a side-leading 32 walks, but has struck out 40 times. Other junior/senior fielders include infielder Steve DalPorto, catcher Brett Doe, and infielder Grayson Porter, who leads the club with 5 home runs.

Miles might have something later in the year with more specific information and analysis on potential draftees, like he did around this time last year, and I'll be detailing the pitchers within the next week.

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