Although it’s an unusual time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing has remained the same: BPA is home to a pair of the best players in the entire country.
While the unfortunate reality may be settling in that the class of 2020 graduates have played their final game, the on-field hiatus has not slowed the work of scribes and outlets. How and when Major League Baseball’s 2020 draft will unfold has yet to be finalized, but top prospect lists continue to come out. Prospect list that one doesn’t have to go down far to see BPA’s presence.
In their updated top 300 draft prospects, Baseball America slots BPA’s Jared Jones, a right-handed pitcher and outfielder from La Mirada High School, in as the 41st overall prospect in the draft. Jones ranks as the best prep righty in California and the eighth-best high school right-handed pitcher overall.
Jones is signed to play baseball at the University of Texas, if he turns down a professional opportunity. The Big XII program is the college baseball blueblood BPA classmate and teammate Petey Halpin has signed with, another top 100 prospect.
On the top 300 list, Halpin checks in at No. 82. Attending Mira Costa High in Manhattan Beach, Halpin is rated as the fourth-best outfielder in the Golden State and the No. 13 outfielder in the country, when combining high school and college players.
If the draft performs in order of the players ranked, Jones and Halpin would be selected in the second and third rounds, respectively. The two’s presence makes BPA the lone California organization with two players among the top 85 prospects.
The scout-driven prospecting of Baseball America falls in line with how tournament and evaluation organization Perfect Game view Jones and Halpin.
According to Perfect Game, Halpin is the ninth-best high school outfielder, California’s number three. Perfect Game says of Halpin:
Halpin has bat speed from the left side and a lot of hitterish traits, using a whippy barrel head to drive the ball to both gaps. He has improved as a runner with a chance to stick in center field and a long history of performance from an offensive standpoint with top-of-the-order tools.
For prep right-handed pitchers, Perfect Game puts Jones at No. 7, saying:
Jones is a fireball righthander who’s an exceptional athlete and another two-way prospect. His double-plus arm speed generates upper-90s velocity regularly with a power breaking ball. He’s a big upside pitching prospect as he develops and refines in a pro system.
Originally set for June 10-12 in Omaha, leading up to the College World Series, MLB has yet to provide a new date for the draft, as well as how many rounds it will be. Commissioner Rob Manfred has the discretion to change the draft to as few as five rounds, drastically shrinking the previous 40-round format.
For now, the focus is of the health and safety of all throughout the world. We look forward to the day when Jones and Halpin have their name called, as two of the nation’s best have long worked for the opportunity.