Europeans in the MLB Draft Preview

Day three of the MLB Draft is upon us and we have to yet to see a European come off the board, despite the high ranking of LSU’s Antoine Duplantis, who has Swedish citizenship. The Tigers’ centerfielder will go quickly on the draft’s final day, but there are others who started the season with professional hopes. Though we identified roughly five dozen Europeans (or those eligible) before the spring started, only roughly a dozen were #MLBDraft-eligible.

Duplantis put together an excellent season for LSU, which was excellent outside of SEC play, but played .500 ball in the tough conference. Duplantis slashed .328/.381/.443 and was 19-of-27 in stolen bases with flawless fielding numbers. Expect for Duplantis to go quickly as it is a surprise he was not taken by the end of round eight.

While Duplantis is the only European-eligible player certain to be taken, Czech Republic’s Martin Mužík has a shot. The catcher-first baseman improved on last year’s NJCAA All-American numbers by slashing .407/.497/.793 with a 24-18 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Completing the stunning growth for the star was a 22.7 percent caught stealing rate after  Mužík failed to nab a runner in 2017. Mužík did everything he needed to be drafted out of @waketechbsb, but will a team bite on an offensive JuCo catcher?

A second player has less exciting numbers, but is more likely to be taken off the board. Though he has yet to pitch for Greece, Eli Lingos turned in a solid season as a senior for Arizona State with a 3.83 ERA and .278 batting average against. in 91 2/3, Lingos had a strong 72-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Unexceptional numbers, perhaps, but Lingos is a left-hander and will be an easy sign.

A trio of British players has likely fallen off draft boards in Hayden Platt, Nolan Bond, and Paul Kirkpatrick. Platt had a disappointing year for Elon as a senior, while Bond hardly pitched after we were told he would be in the starting rotation. Kirkpatrick was not on our draft list before the season but started incredibly strong before tailing off.

Looking to next year briefly, John Doxakis (Greece) heads the list of draftees. Pitching on the Cape this summer. Assuming he goes to a four-year university, Mužík would be another. Bond would be a senior and has the stuff.

The top-rising European university prospect, however, has to be Emory University’s Richard Brereton, who put together an outstanding sophomore year as an outfielder and pitcher. The Great Britain U23 star was not draft eligible this year and can still develop further.

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About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
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