When the final mock drafts came out on Monday, it was expected that UConn baseball players Matt Barnes and George Springer would be drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft. It was also thought that Barnes would be drafted higher than Springer.
But that wasn’t the case at all as the Houston Astros took Springer with the 11th pick of the draft. And it took just eight more picks for Barnes to be taken as the Boston Red Sox took him with the 19th pick.
The 19th pick was originally the Detroit Tigers pick that the Red Sox received when the Tigers signed Victor Martinez during free agency.
For Springer, he becomes the highest player ever drafted out of UConn. Charles Nagy had been the highest when he was selected with the 17th pick in the 1988 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians.
Here’s what MLB.com had to say about Springer:
Five-tool players don’t come around too often, and they’re usually not from the college ranks. Springer, the UConn center fielder, is an exception to that rule. Springer can do a little bit of everything on the baseball field, and after a slow start to his junior season, was using all of those tools to put up very good numbers. There are some holes to his swing as he doesn’t get cheated at the plate and, thus, there’s some swing and miss to his game. Still, he has the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields. With a very quick bat, he’s got unbelievable raw power and it could be a plus tool if he can make more consistent contact. He’s got above-average speed and is very smart on the basepaths, giving him the potential to be a basestealing threat. Defensively, the speed plays well, with above-average range and the instincts to play anywhere in the outfield, if needed. His arm is already above-average and could be plus one day. All those tools, with the ability to play a premium position in center; a team will undoubtedly see past the swing issues and take him in the early going of the first round.
And here’s what MLB.com had to say about Barnes:
In another Draft class, Barnes — with his long, lanky frame and potential for a very good three-pitch mix — would put him close to the top of Draft boards. The depth in outstanding pitching in this class knocks Barnes down a touch, but he’s still in line to get taken in the top half of the first round. Barnes can crank his fastball up to 96 mph and will comfortably sit in the 91-93 mph range. He currently throws two breaking pitches. His curve has the chance to be a plus pitch if he focuses on it, with good rotation. His slider is a below-average pitch, and it might be best if he used just the curve at the next level. His changeup has the chance to be a good option, especially against lefties, but he doesn’t use it that much now. He should have excellent command in the future and his frame might allow him to add some bulk along the way. He looks and acts like a frontline starter, and that’s exactly what he might be down the line.
And in case you missed it, here is an interview that Sox Prospects did with both Barnes and Springer.
Congratulations to both Springer and Barnes. Best of luck!