The June amateur draft always represents hope for both major league organizations and the budding players they draft.
Since 1965, when Rick Monday was taken with the first pick by the Kansas City Athletics, the MLB amateur draft has always signaled the beginning of major league dreams for countless numbers of amateur players across the country. Some are saddled with can’t-miss expectations, while others buck the odds and find carve out a major league career from the deepest rounds.
We’ve heard the stories. Mike Piazza went from the 62nd round to the Hall of Fame. Albert Pujols from the 13th round to an eventual date with the Hall.
It works the other way too.
Brien Taylor was selected first overall in 1991 by the Yankees. He elicited visions of becoming a left-handed Dwight Gooden. He never recovered from shoulder surgery and spent the majority of his career in A-Ball.
David Clyde was ticketed for stardom in 1973 after he was drafted by the Rangers. At the age of 18, Texas brought the talented lefty straight to the major leagues. As you might have guessed, that didn’t work out so well. He developed arm trouble and his career never materialized.
This year, the 40-round draft will be held June 4-6 in Secaucus, NJ.
As the draft approaches, two Detroit area high school stars will be waiting for their names to be called. Detroit Country Day first baseman John Malcom and Warren DeLaSalle infielder Bryce Bush are considered two of the top prospects in the state of Michigan this year.
Malcolm, at a sturdy 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, may be the nation’s top prep first baseman taken in this year’s draft. He signed with perennial college power Vanderbilt. Malcom is big and powerful, with excellent hands and is very smooth around the bag.
Busch stands 6-feet, 205 pounds and is committed to Mississippi State. He is considered an athletic corner infielder, but his bat is his strongest tool. His 2017 National Showcase Report can be found here, also courtesy of Perfect Game.
Recently Mick McCabe wrote a piece in the Detroit Free Press about the lack of African-Americans in the major leagues. Bush, Malcom and Detroit Western’s William English are Motor City products out to change the trend.
Below is a video provided to Pro Baseball Detroit by Perfect Game’s Daron Sutton. Sutton features Malcom and Bush ahead of the 2018 draft.