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MLB draft should be relatively quiet for WSU

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High school recruit is top prospect for the program

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Cougar coach Marty Lees should be excited for the future after a nice finish to the season. This may not be reflected in next week’s MLB draft which starts Monday and ends Wednesday. There are no current Cougars ranked in Baseball America’s top 500, so we may not see a lot of names to be called. One name that should be of interest to Cougar fans is outfielder Isaiah Smith.

Smith is an incoming recruit from Battle Ground high school who checks in 6 foot 2 192 pounds. The centerfield is ranked at No.463 on the BA 500 and is ranked No.258 overall by Perfectgame.org. We should expect to see Smith’s name called sometime in the first 20 rounds depending on his bonus demands. Here is how Smith’s skill set was described by a March article in The Columbian.

That approach is what got Smith to this position. That, and his speed, size, and arm strength. Listed at 6-2, 192 pounds, the center fielder can jog around the bases after hitting a home run or stretch a double into a triple with his speed.

Smith sounds pretty excited about the possibility of playing pro baseball which should probably make Cougar fans a little nervous about losing this star recruit.

“It’s a dream,” Smith said. “As a baseball player growing up, it’s always been a dream. It’s almost here. It’s a possibility. It’s not overwhelming, but it is exciting.”

Whether he comes to WSU or heads to the professional ranks next week’s draft should be a really cool experience for Smith and his family.

Some notable juniors on the WSU roster that are eligible for the draft are pitchers Cody Anderson, Scott Sunitch and Damon Jones as well as outfielders JJ Hancock and Derek Chapman. First baseman James Rudkin and third baseman Shane Matheny also could be selected. If a player is drafted he has the option to either sign with the team or return to WSU for his senior year. I expect we will be seeing most of these guys back in Pullman next year, but one never knows.

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