Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available between now and then.
At times it seems like nothing excites a team more on draft day than a power college bat willing to sign for slot money, so it should be no surprise that Texas-Arlington outfielder Michael Choice has worked his way into the mix for the top half of the first round. He offers the best of both worlds – a good scouting report and gaudy stats.
Baseball America ranked Choice as the 11th best prospect in this year's draft class while ESPN's Keith Law had him 19th (sub. req'd for both). MLB.com's Draft Report says that he has "big-time raw power to all fields," but notes that his swing mechanics will have to improve in the future. He's a good defender that will likely move to a corner down the road despite his above average speed. The MLB.com link offers video.
Choice has put up ridiculous numbers with Texas-Arlington this spring, hitting .383/.568/.704 with 76 walks to just 54 strikeouts. Although he has a good approach at the plate, his walk total has been boosted by lots of intentional and unintentional-intentional walks because of the generally weak lineup around him.
Every recent mock draft has Choice going within the top ten picks, though Law reported yesterday that the Padres have narrowed their options for the ninth overall pick down to two players, one of whom is Choice. It seems very unlikely that he'll get past that pick.