Reevaluating Auburn in the MLB draft
Earlier this month I tried to give my best guess about what Auburn players could return after being drafted. I’ll admit some were close and some were way off. Here’s a quick refresher:
So, from my original list all but Dayton and Nelson are left unsigned. But will it say that way? No. Kevin Patterson is all but gone. Originally, I thought the fact that playing in the Cape Cod League was a tip of his hand that KP was coming back. Turns out I was way off:
PATTERSON HAS PLANS: Auburn first baseman Kevin Patterson is one of those Cape League rarities – a third-year player. But it doesn't sound like he'll be spending a third full season with Cotuit. Tampa Bay drafted him in the 23rd round.
“We're just waiting to see,” he said of his status. “I talked to Tampa just before coming up, and they said they would watch me play some this summer, and probably by July we'd start talking. I'll probably sign sometime in July.
“I'm having fun up here again, but I'm ready to get that process over with and get started at the next level.”
Patterson, a 6-4, 230-pound slugging first baseman, had 16 homers at Auburn in just 124 at-bats this spring. Through eight games at Cotuit, he had fanned 10 times in 26 at-bats, but had a .387 OBP as he readjusted to wooden bats.
“I had a good year at school, but just didn't get to play enough,” he said. “I'm up here to get wood back in my hands and keep working at it.”
Patterson was a 24th-round pick of the White Sox out of high school.
You don’t really have to read to far between the lines there. Technically, KP is still unsigned. However, he was recently released from his Cape Cod team (Cotuit) which means one of two things: either he’s close to signing (highly likely) or close to returning (highly unlikely).
Grant Dayton is another guy I thought could come back. Again, that was a shot in the dark from me. I would think with his major that he’d at least want to finish his senior year. Commenter “hub” made a good point that Dayton could have already graduated. That is still a distinct possibility and I think we will know for sure when the Summer Graduation hits. For now though, Dayton has already gone from his original assignment with the Rookie League Gulf Coast Marlins to the Short Season Jamestown Jammers.
Brian Fletcher, I still have as leaving. However, the longer it drags out the more the window for him returning gets bigger. I still don’t think it’s a realistic possibility. The last I heard with Fletch is that it’s just money as the sticking point now. Specifically what his bonus should be.
So who IS coming back. Well, I still have no clue about Brad Hendrix. To be completely honest, I forgot he got drafted until I reviewed my previous post. So I’ll still leave him as a coin flip. That would leave Stephen Kohlscheen and Justin Fradejas, the last two guys drafted, as the two guys with the highest chances of returning. Both are playing in the Valley Baseball League this summer. Fradejas for the Luray Wranglers where he is hitting a nice .350 and Kohlscheen is pitching for the Harrisonburg Turks where he picked up a win in a start last night after pitching 6 strong innings and giving up only 5 hits and 0 er. He’s only been with the team for a week and already have two wins:
HARRISONBURG - Stephen Kohlscheen has been a Harrisonburg resident for just a week, and already he's recorded two wins for the Turks. A rising senior at Auburn who has been drafted by major league baseball teams three times - including once this month in the 45th round by the Seattle Mariners - Kohlscheen threw six innings of shutout ball Tuesday to help the Turks beat Luray 3-2 at Eagle Field. The shaggy-haired 6-foot-6 hurler said he does not know yet if he ...
And yes, that’s where the article ends. I don’t feel like paying 2 dollars and subscribing to the Harrisonburg, Virginia paper for a month.