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KU Related MLB Draft Wrap Up

My three favorite days of the calendar year (maybe) are now in the books, and there were some KU related surprises on draft day(s). Fortunately I don't think the Jayhawks will lose anyone early to the pro ranks (at least without knowing the individual situations more closely).

LHP Colton Murray was ranked 111th on Baseball America's top 200, but lasted until the 421st pick when the Phillies grabbed him. He didn't have great numbers this year and he pitched out of the bullpen, so I can see why he lasted, but quite a few pitchers worse than him went before him. Still, unless he gets an above slot deal, which I doubt he will, I expect him back for his Senior year at KU.

TJ Walz went 45 picks later to the A's at 466 overall to the A's. Walz was a Senior this year so he'll sign and head to the A's organization. Going 466th, he's not going to end up an MLB star, but if he improves his control a bit I think he could eventually pitch in the majors as a reliever.

Sophomore P Tanner Poppe went 1140th overall to the Rays. Because the Rays had roughly a million picks in the first and supplemental rounds they probably don't have enough money to sign Poppe overslot (and he would need an overslot to sign), so I expect him in the rotation next year.

Three recruits were also drafted:

The first drafted was Free State HS pitcher Cody Kukuk, taken in the 7th round, 232nd overall, by the Red Sox. Keith Law called him a tough but not impossible sign, and the Red Sox have the money if they want to pony up (depending on how much they spend on Blake Swihart and their other tough signs early in the draft). Being  a local kid, I bet that Kukuk makes it to campus. He is a tall lefty who was ranked 154th on Baseball America's top 100. Kukuk throws only in the high 80s, but based on the one start I saw him in high school (I am totally a scout!) he's pretty athletic and with good coaching he should improve that by a few MPH.

Outfielder Connor McKay out of Regis Jesuit HS in Colorado was taken in the 24th round, 738th overall, by the Rockies. He played in the Under Armour All-American game in high school and was a very good football player (maybe he should walk on). Here is some video of him if you want to see him in action. In short: he is super athletic, should start in center field immediately, and if he hits his ceiling will probably be the best KU outfielder in awhile.

Finally was RHP Robert Kahana out of Campbell HS in Hawaii in the 44th round, 1138th overall, also taken by the Rockies. Kahana's fastball was clocked at 92 mph last year, after being clocked at only 78 the year before. There's still a chance for me.

One player not drafted was Junior 1B Zac Elgie. Elgie turned down a reported 6 figure bonus from the A's when he was drafted out of high school, but two years of not much playing time and then a substandard summer last year Elgie's stock has plummeted. He needs to really have a big year next year to have a shot to get any sort of a pro chance, though I do think he will be drafted regardless because he'll be an easy Senior sign and has a decent power ceiling.