While all eyes were on NBA draft decisions Wednesday, Maryland baseball has a couple pro-ready prospects of its own heading hoping to get selected in next week’s MLB Draft.
With the draft starting on June 4, MLB Pipeline released an updated list of the draft’s top 200 prospects featuring a pair of Terps named Nick. First Team All-Big Ten selection Nick Dunn ranked no. 174 and high-profile commit Nick Decker clocked in 100 spots higher at No. 74.
This will be Dunn’s first time getting drafted, after using his three seasons at Maryland to bolster himself as a prospect. He had a breakout 2018, as well as two All-Star summer runs in the Cape Cod League, culminating in his first-team selection. Despite the Terps having a down year, he led the team in nearly every offensive statistical category, including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, home runs and more.
From MLB Pipeline:
A left-handed hitter, Dunn has an advanced approach at the plate with very good plate discipline that allowed him to walk more than he has struck out over the course of his college career. The infielder reached double-digits in home runs as a junior, nearly doubling his total over his first two years combined, though his power at the next level is more likely to be of the extra-base, not over-the-fence, variety. With a below-average arm and fringy speed, Dunn is limited to second base.
Meanwhile, Decker is an All-American commit to the Terps who has had pro scouts at his games all year. A power-hitting 6’0, 205-pound lefty, the Seneca High School product has a shot to be the just the second New Jersey high school outfielder to go above the fifth round since Mike Trout went in the first round of the 2009 draft.
Decker isn’t the toolshed his more famous predecessor is, but he does have one strong carrying tool: his raw power. It’s legitimate and it shows up presently. He’s very physical now, without a ton of projection. He’s more power over hit, with some length to his swing, but he does have good rhythm at the plate, giving him a better shot of tapping into that strength. Decker will be an average runner in the future with a decent arm, likely profiling as a left fielder in the future. Committed to Maryland, Decker fits the corner outfield profile. A team that believes he’ll hit enough to use that raw pop consistently will be the one to take him off the board in the top three rounds.
Decker will have a shot to get drafted in his home state, with the draft running from June 4-6 in Secaucus, New Jersey with the Detroit Tigers taking the first pick.
In other news
After exploding on the scene at the NBA Draft combine, Kevin Huerter announced he’d forgo his final two years of eligibility and stay in the draft on Wednesday.
This wasn’t a decision Huerter took lightly, and his dad took to Twitter to talk about what the making the choice has been like.
Last night Kevin played 1 on 1 with his sisters. Solidifying that he is still a 19 yr old boy, in so many ways. We woke not knowing if he changed his mind, again. So proud of Kevin and the way he has handled this process. Thank You Md, Thank you Shen! Always Rep CP! pic.twitter.com/CxH8rPyWQ4— Tom Huerter (@THuerter) May 30, 2018
With Huerter gone, Thomas and I looked at what his decision means for both him and men’s basketball. Huerter’s decision also meant that all of basketball’s draft decisions were in, so the podcast looked at what the next year’s team will look like.
After becoming a local hero while leading UMBC to an unprecedented upset over Virginia in the NCAA Tournament, Jairus Lyles has been going through the draft process, which included a “humbling” workout with the hometown Wizards, from PressBox.
Since yesterday was the decision deadline, players from all over the country officially decided to return to school or stay in the draft. Mustapha Heron chose neither and is transferring while applying for a medical hardship waiver to play immediately. The Terps are among a swath of teams who contacted the Auburn transfer after he announced his intentions, from InsideMdSports.
Look, we published something not about Huerter yesterday. Former Terps goalie Zack Steffen has been recalled for another go around with the US Men’s National Team.
Football’s Brendan Moore will start out on the Rimington Award watch list for the nation’s top center for the third straight season.