Some local baseball players’ dream careers could begin this week.
Several of the top high school players in Palm Beach County, and former local high school players who went on to play college baseball, likely will be selected in this week’s MLB Draft, which begins Monday night and runs through Wednesday.
The first round and Competitive Balance Round A will air on MLB Network, starting at 7 p.m. Monday, while the second round and Competitive Balance Round B will air on MLB.com. The second and third days of the draft also will air on MLB.com, starting at 1 p.m. and noon, respectively.
Here are some of the top local players (in alphabetical order), who were ranked in Baseball America’s top 500 prospects, who likely will be selected this week:
Reese Albert, OF, Jupiter: Albert has been one of the top outfielders in Palm Beach County since his sophomore year, when he was a second-team All-Area pick. The Warriors senior has hit over .300 the last three years and has developed more power throughout his high school career. Albert is also a strong defender, covering a lot of ground in center field. Baseball America ranks Albert as the No. 402 prospect in this year’s draft, which would put him around the 13th round. Albert has signed to play for Florida State.
Shane Drohan, LHP, Cardinal Newman: Drohan is also a Florida State signee. The left-handed pitcher had a strong senior year, going 3-4 in 10 appearances (six starts), but posting a 2.00 ERA while striking out 78 in 42 innings. Drohan can hit the low 90s with his fastball to go along with a curveball and changeup, according to this MLB scouting report. Baseball America ranks Drohan as the No. 106 prospect, which would put him at the start of the fourth round.
James Marinan, RHP, Park Vista: Marinan had one of the most prolific rises of any high school prospect in the nation this year, as evidenced by the dozens of scouts who flooded his last few starts. Entering the season, Marinan, a Miami signee, was a relatively unknown prospect who likely would go in the middle of the draft and end up playing college baseball. That is no longer the case. Marinan added several miles per hour to his fastball, reaching the mid-to-high 90s. Marinan has been a good hitter for the Cobras, clubbing four home runs the last two seasons, but his future is on the mound. Baseball America ranks Marinan 59th overall in this year’s draft, making him the top Palm Beach County high school player and the No. 31 high school player in the nation. If selected 59th overall, he would go to the New York Mets in the second round.
Brandon McCabe, RHP, Forest Hill: McCabe has been well-traveled in his high school career. He started at Boynton Beach, pitched for Trinity Christian and then ended his career with one inning pitched for Forest Hill. McCabe, formerly a Miami commit, is currently signed to play for Palm Beach State next season. He has been recorded throwing as hard as 95 miles per hour, according to this scouting report. Baseball America ranks McCabe the No. 488 overall prospect in the draft, which would put him around the 15th round.
J.J. Schwarz, C, Florida (Palm Beach Gardens alum): Schwarz was a two-time first-team All-Area selection as a catcher for Palm Beach Gardens, and after being selected in the 17th round of the 2014 draft, he chose to play for the Gators. Schwarz was a freshman sensation, slashing .332/.398/.629 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) with 18 home runs. His last two years have not been at the same level, but he is hitting .286 with nine home runs this season as the Gators try to make it back to the College World Series. Baseball America ranks Schwarz 374th overall, which would put him around the end of the 11th round.
Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia (Palm Beach Gardens alum): Smith, who was Schwarz’s teammate at Palm Beach Gardens, will almost certainly be the first Palm Beach County native drafted this year. Smith, who was a two-time first-team All-Area pick, became one of the top hitters in college baseball. Smith had a career slash line of.325/.402/.514 to go with 28 career home runs. He only got better as his career continued; he set career highs with a .342 average, 13 home runs and a .427 on-base percentage this season. Smith pitched in high school, but he only played first base in college. Baseball America ranks him 15th overall. If selected 15th, he would go to the Houston Astros.
Others to watch: Dwyer pitchers Justin Alintoff (Florida Gulf Coast signee) and Shane Roberts (South Carolina signee); Jupiter catcher Mason Doolittle (LSU signee) and infielder Anthony Servideo (Ole Miss signee); Park Vista pitcher Emanuel Fernandez (Miami signee);Wellington pitcher Sawyer Losey (Florida State signee).