The 2020 MLB Draft is just one day away and three Diamond Hogs are likely to hear their names called at some point.
Heston Kjerstad is set to be the first Arkansas player selected. Draft expect, Jonathan Mayo, says the thing teams really like about him is his consistent effort to become an all around hitter.
“Kjerstad could’ve come out of his freshman year and said alright I’m good. I’m just going to keep trying to hit homers and that’s good enough,” says Mayo. “Being just a home run guy would get him drafted but the fact that I think he’s proven to enough teams that he’s going to hit enough to tap into that ridiculous raw power, is probably why he’s going to be a top ten pick.”
Vanderbilt head coach, Tim Corbin, agrees with Mayo and says that Kjerstad caused him a lot of anxiety during games.
“This is not just a power guy,” says Corbin. “This is a guy that has hit skill that is going to have some power and I think those guys are rare because often times you’ll find that kid where they’ve got hit skill and you know power is right behind it. But this kid came in with some leverage. He came in with the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark and he did it in our conference as a young kid.”
As for Casey Martin, Mayo says the Arkansas shortstop is hard to figure out. He also mentions that the 16 games this season didn’t really help his draft stock. However, Mayo hopes teams don’t judge him on those games alone.
“I think because it feeds into some of the holes in his game that he had shown before, you know the swing and misses is concerning. But man he can do a lot of things really really well.”
Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz could also be drafted this year. But he may be one of the players that has to make a tough decision.
“Teams will be calling up the Casey Opitz’s of the world and saying ‘will you sign for this?’ Then he’s going to have to decide, do I want to do that or do I want to come back for one more year and see what happens.”
The MLB Draft begins Wednesday at 6PM on ESPN and MLB Network.