The first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball player draft will get underway on Thursday, June 9th, with the 40th round finishing up on Saturday, June 11th. The draft will be held in Secaucus, New Jersey. Last year, eleven Historically Black College and University (HBCU) baseball players were drafted.
Below, Black College Nines highlights some of the anticipated top HBCU prospects in the 2016 draft class. You’ll find our breakdown of our top five candidates in draft, rumors and draft tendencies taken into consideration in our mock draft.
In the 50 years of the MLB draft, the only HBCU baseball player picked No. 1 overall in the regular June phase of the draft has been Danny Goodwin of Southern University in 1975. Rickie Weeks was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers who selected him second overall in the 2003 MLB Draft. That could change in the coming years.
Our five rising HBCU players already showing the potential to go in this year’s draft are…
Top Five For 2016
1 Matt Outman, LHP, Norfolk State University
2 Joseph Camacho, RHP, Alabama State University
3 Curtis Johnson, RHP, West Virginia State University
4 Nathan Bond, IF/OF, Bethune-Cookman University
5 Javion Randle, OF, Jarvis Christian College
Teams want to be able to sign players with a shot at being starters, without a four-to-six-year risk window to start their pro careers. The 2016 class has, at least at this point, a supply of prospects who will get scouts excited.
Hard-throwing hurlers top the list. Norfolk State southpaw Matt Outman 6’3″ 230 pounds, Alabama State righty Joseph Camacho 5’9″ 175 lbs, and West Virginia State right-hander Curtis Johnson 6’1″ 175 lbs are polished performers. All three are capable of sitting in the 90s with quality breaking pitches. Outman is a crafty, intense pitcher who will stare batters down. Camacho has raw talent. Johnson, who throws hard, right now is better suited as a relief or set-up pitcher.
The 2016 class also offers a healthy number of talented all-around position players. That group is led by outfielders Nathan Bond (6’2″ 195 lbs) of Bethune Cookman and Jarvis Christian College’s Javion Randle (6’2″ 205 lbs). Both are high-level athletes who grade out as average or better in all tool areas by MLB standards and are on the plus side with raw power, speed, and arm strength. Both, Bond and Randle are true outfielders who have shown pop in their bats in addition to plus speed and defensive skills. During a recent Red River Athletic Conference tournament, a game announcer described Javion Randle’s arm as “deemed by NASA as a missile.”
Other potential names to watch for in the MLB Draft include:
George Dragon IF, John Kraft OF – Coppin State University
Alex Wong IF, Sawyer Betts RHP, Ricky Page RHP, Marlon Gibbs OF, Dylan Dillard IF – Florida A&M University
Justin Lee IF – Norfolk State University
Adan Ordonez IF – North Carolina A&T University
Charles Sikes IF – Savannah State University
Dillon Cooper OF – Alabama State University
Devin Repine RHP – University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Angel Avalos IF – Prairie View A&M University
Ryan Lazo IF, Christopher Scroggins OF, Larry Romero RHP – Texas Southern University
Jesus Santana IF – Jackson State University
Cedric Bell IF – Alcorn State University
Nathan Stegar RHP/IF, Jordan Cummings RHP – Winston Salem State University
Yaniel Delgado RHP – Benedict College
Jabari Brown IF – Claflin University
Andres Alburias OF Harris-Stowe State
Joshua Falbo RHP, Trenton Porter OF – West Virginia State University
Joshua Freeman RHP, Nick Vitale OF, Taylor Ellis INF – Stillman College
Miguel Beltre OF – Edward Waters College