MLB Mock Drafts are much less exciting than NFL Mock Drafts. The NFL Draft only has 7 rounds, but most “mock experts” only predict the first few rounds. The MLB, with 50 rounds, is almost impossible to guess. But the first round picks are usually known a year ahead of time. With high school and college seasons just beginning, a few players who right now may not be projected as top picks will be able to translate their remarkable upcoming seasons to a first or second round draft grade. Again, most first rounders are already known. One of those “sure fire picks” is James Paxton.
James Paxton was supposed to be the #1 pitcher for the University of Kentucky this season. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays with the #37 overall pick (in the supplemental first round) of the 2009 MLB Draft. Instead of signing after his Junior campaign, he decided to come back to the University of Kentucky to help his school in his Senior Year. As a ‘thank you’, the University of Kentucky suspended him because he would not cooperate with NCAA investigators who wanted to question him about his advisor (Scott Boras) supposedly having direct communication with someone from the Blue Jays front office after Paxton was drafted last year (an NCAA rule violation).
The University of Kentucky began its baseball season last Friday, and James Paxton was not on the mound. He should have been, though. He still is projected to be a top-half of the first round pick. Draftsite.com pegs him as the #7 overall pick; MyMLBDraft.com thinks he will be the #12 overall pick. Whether or not Paxton plays, he is still seen as valuable, but will his performance and/or demeanor be affected by this legal nonsense?
My main concern continues to be the potential ramifications that this may have for future student-athletes in deciding whether or not to retain an advisor leading up to and following the MLB Draft. Baseball parents cannot be thrilled to hear that having an advisor could lead their children to missing out on their final season of student-athlete eligibility. In the end, the athletes who really could use strong advice from seasoned advisors will end up suffering.
The University of Kentucky still lists Paxton on their official roster. Too bad no one can see his number on the field.