Biloxi baseball star Colt Keith says he’s talked to scouts from all 30 Major League Baseball teams, but which one is gonna pick him?
Or will he get picked at all? How much money will they offer him? Will it be enough to keep him from going to Arizona State? Will a shorter draft work for or against him? A lot more questions than answers this week leading up to the MLB first year player draft.
“Really the only thing that’s been staying consistent is nobody is telling anybody anything.” It’s the certainty of uncertainty that’s giving Biloxi’s Colt Keith so much to think about on the eve of the MLB Draft. “I don’t know if it’s usually like this, but I read around on the articles and stuff and what people have been saying is in this draft, no one is giving away their card.”
A lot of dreams were shattered for Draft Day hopefuls when the league announced last month it was cutting the amateur selection process from 40 rounds all the way down to just five. The Arizona State signee currently checks in as the 87th ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, good for a third round pick, at least on paper. “Well, it’s really stressful to think that I don’t know where I’m going to be going in the next two days. Like I don’t know if I’m going to be going to Arizona to attend Arizona State or going to pro ball.”
Keith says the scouts have gone dark over the past four or five days, leaving him with little to no indication as to what his actual slot value will be on Draft Day.
Good thing for him, there’s option 1A and 1B. “I have a number and if it drops below that number, then I’m going to attend Arizona State. I think it’ll be great either way. Either I go play for an organization and work my way up and then if not, I go to Arizona State and develop there for three years and play at a great program and eventually I end up getting drafted again.”
As the reigning 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year for Mississippi, Keith is a true five-tool player with most of his Draft Day appeal, coming from the left side of the infield. The former Indian can also run it up to 96 on the gun with a wipeout slider. “There has been a couple of teams ask me about doing both, and I’m completely open to it. I mean there’s guys like Brendan McKay, Shohei Ohtani, those guys are on top of their game and I wouldn’t mind doing both. I love competing on the mound, I love competing in the box so whatever the team has me do I’ll be fine with it.”
Keith says he’ll be watching the draft at home with his mom and dad and his advisor on the phone, ready to embrace the other side of his future on the diamond, just a few months after losing his senior season to COVID-19. “I’ve been looking forward to Draft Day for I don’t even know how long, since I could remember playing baseball. And I’m definitely excited but I’m also nervous. I’m just going to let everything fall into place. I mean it’s all in God’s hands so I’m just letting everything fall into place.”
Keith says his parents will be ready to get some reaction video of the big moment even though he jokingly says sometimes they have trouble pressing the play button.
As for his number, Keith says he’s not at liberty to say publicly so it doesn’t come back to hurt him on Draft Day.