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Pitt baseball players not in demand for 2017 MLB Draft?

Photo used with permission of the Pittsburgh Panthers athletics department (www.pittsburghpanthers.com)

Last year, the Pitt baseball team lost five players that were selected in the MLB Draft. This year looks like a different tale, however.

The Panthers not only don't have the highly coveted player they did in starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch, but they might not even have anyone on the radar for quite a while. Mock baseball drafts beyond the first round or two are pretty rare, but here's one that has projections on 14 (yes, 14) of the 40 rounds. It includes precisely zero Pitt players.

None of that is too surprising. Pitt's only .300 hitter was freshman Alex Amos (who isn't eligible) and no one hit more than seven home runs on the year. The team's best starting pitcher was Josh Falk and he was 3-7 with an ERA of 3.92. Just not much that screams, 'draft me' - at least not in the earlier rounds.

That's sort of a two-way street, obviously. In some ways, it's a bad thing. You always want to be sending guys to the pros since it not only helps them but proves to recruits that your school can get them to the next level. But in some ways, it also helps with some continuity into the next year and can be good in the sense that you don't have to worry about prematurely losing guys to the pros. The argument can be made, of course, that if you don't have any or only 1-2 guys taken, that you don't have enough talent. That's valid and the trick is to always have guys going to the pros and still having a core of players ready to fill their shoes.

With the team finishing only 23-30 this season, that didn't happen.

None of this means that Pitt won't send any players to the pros via the draft this year. The link provided is only one mock draft and, even if correct, still only represents about 1/3 of the entire draft. Pitt could still send some players in later rounds. But for now, Pitt may not have guys going in the early rounds and even players with eligibility still left that are selected could opt to return if they are taken late.

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