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Where We Stand After the MLB Draft

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Who’s coming back, who’s expected to sign, who will honor their commitments, and who will never make it to The Hawk?

Syndication: The Tennessean Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and roster turnover. Today, we look into the latter following the conclusion of the 2021 MLB Draft.

Coaching Changes

As you may know, the economic structures and rules in college baseball are absolute horse shit. Of course you all know the dumb 11.7 scholarship limit, but you may not know that teams are only allowed to employ a Head Coach and two paid assistants. Why? Blame Ohio State and the other ADs who voted down the ability to pay a third assistant in both baseball and softball for absolutely ludicrous reasons two years ago. The proposed rule change would not require anyone to pay a third assistant coach in either of those sports, but would simply allow schools to do so if they so chose. But those jackwagons who voted it down wanted to control others. It’s really that simple. Consider the eleventy billion assistant coaches, consultants, and whatever that NCAA college football teams are allowed to employ, with no salary restrictions whatsoever, and bask in the hypocrisy of it all.

Anyway, former player and now former assistant coach David Macias took a paid assistant coach job at ECU because of this. Macias was the “volunteer” assistant coach for the past four years, and served as the 1st base coach.

We wish him well, but flip off all the asshats who voted down the option to pay a third assistant coach in baseball and softball at the same time.

Who’s Definitely Going to Sign With the Team Who Drafted Him?

The Current Players:

Kumar Rocker

Rocker turned down signing bonus offers in the neighborhood of $3 million to come to Vanderbilt. He accepted one double that three years later. That’s a pretty good return on investment, no? This is fantastic news for Apu, as the NY Mets are his favorite squadron, but bad news for the rest of the NL East. That Mets rotation is about to be unfair.

Jack Leiter

Leiter has not signed yet, but was taken #2 overall. He gone. He’s about to have this type of money:

Luke Murphy

“The Law” was taken in the 4th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Side note: the Angels took pitchers with all 20 selections, which was... interesting, considering they passed over Kumar Rocker to take some schlub at pick #9. Every top 10 rounder is expected to sign, save for a bad medical report or something.

CJ Rodriguez

This was the one that hurt. Chi Chi is, quite simply, the best defensive catcher we’ve ever had. There was some hope that, as a draft-eligible sophomore, Chi Chi would float out a number higher than MLB teams were willing to reach. The A’s are smart drafters when they’re not chasing people who are definitely going to the NFL, however, and Chi Chi’s mom tweeted this:

We wish you well, but are heartbroken at the same time.

Hugh Fisher

Though everyone potentially gets an extra Josh Henderson year due to Covid, no one really expects draftable seniors to come back. The Dbags took Big Fish in the 10th, and we hope they are able to help him harness his dirty stuff.

Jayson Gonzalez

See what I said above regarding seniors. Gonzo worked really hard for playing time during his time at Vanderbilt. We wish him nothing but success, and hope the White Stockings are able to help him unlock his prodigious power potential.

The Commits

Jordan Lawlar

Lawlar was always likely to be a guy who never actually made it to campus, but some rumors gave us hope leading up to the draft. Said hope crashed back to reality when he was taken pick #6 overall by the Dbags. He gone.

Joshua Baez

The Cards tabbed him in the 2nd round. Don’t overthink it. He gone.

Michael Morales

Seattle selected him in the 3rd round. Teams sign their top 10 round draft picks. Again, don’t overthink it. Morales, we hardly knew ye.

Which Current Players and Commits Will be Wearing Gangster Pajamas in 2022?

Running it Back

This is the best tweet about who’s coming back, imho:

For those who cannot determine who those faces are, that tweet means our entire infield save for occasional 3rd baseman Jayson Gonzalez, will be back. Young and Noland were expected (current sophomores), and it would have been a shock if Tate Kolwyck was drafted due to his hamate bone injury early this year... but the reason this tweet is important is this:

Dominic Keegan

He said it himself. Though he was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round, he’s coming back. That’s huge. He may well be switching positions to catcher, as well (though expect that to be a competition, and I will write an article just about the catcher position soon enough).

Isaiah Thomas

Though I.T. was the #97 ranked player by mlb.com going into the draft, he went undrafted. He’s coming back with a chip on his shoulder.

Cut down on that swing and miss, young man, and you’ll be a beast in this lineup.

Nick Maldonado

Though Maldo was ranked #216 by MLB.com, he also went undrafted and is coming back. Both Maldo and I.T. likely had offers to be drafted, but either the bonus number wasn’t high enough, or they had unfinished business regardless, Either way, they’re back.

Pretty much everyone else from our 2021 lineup, including Vaz, Jones, LaNeve, Noland, Kolwyck, Bradfield, etc, are coming back, too.

They Were Only Freshmen

Well... everyone in the signing class but for Lawlar, Baez, and (maybe) Davis Diaz (see below). See this article for who they are.

Which Commits Will We Have to Sweat it Out until the 8/1 Signing Deadline?

Davis Diaz

When Diaz wasn’t selected in the top 10 rounds, I thought he was ours. When he wasn’t selected in the “signing jiggery pokery” 11th round, I was even more certain. When the DBags took him in the 12th round, it moved his status into a murky purgatorio. I’d put it at 50/50, so yeah... we’re going to have to wait until 8/1 to know this one.

...and that’s really it.

Sure, we will have to somewhat wait out if Algonquin for “The Good Land” will be able to pull out some sort of miracle and offer Carter Holton close to a million dollars, but we really don’t think that will happen. We think it’s more of a lottery ticket for the Brew Crew, really.