DI Baseball has five Arkansas players among its top 200 MLB draft college prospects

By Dudley E. Dawson
on 2024-07-09 16:54 PM


FAYETTEVILLE – D1 Baseball came out with its Major League Baseball Draft’s top 200 college draft prospects on Tuesday with five Arkansas players on the list – including three of the first 82.

First-team All-American pitcher Hagen Smith headed up Razorbacks on the list at No. 6 with second baseman Peyton Stovall (59), pitchers Brady Tygart (82) and Mason Molina (98) and catcher Hudson Smith (158) also ranked by D1.

Smith is expected to be a top 10 pick, projected to go No. 6 to Kansas City by The Athletic’s Keith Law and No. 7 to St. Louis by both ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.

The draft will begin Sunday with the first round beginning at 6 p.m. CST and rounds 1-3 happening on the first of a the three-day event being held at the Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth.

Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn has advised his players to remain focused and not change their approach as the draft nears.

“Just really stay focused, stay in shape,” Van Horn said. “Don’t take time off now, you took a few days off, stay in really good shape. If you’re a pitcher, arm-wise, throw your bullpens. Because you don’t know what they’re going to want you to do. Don’t get all uptight about where you get drafted and all that.”

“But right now, they’re having conversations with area scouts…So, like I said, the draft can’t get here soon enough for them or college coaches honestly because it’s hard right now because we don’t know where we’re at.”

The SEC had 8 of the list’s top 25 players and 22 of the top 50 prospects while the ACC had 7 prospects in the top 25 and 10 of the top 50.

Texas A&M and LSU both had 7 players in the top 200 and national champion Tennessee 6 with Arkansas joining Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Oregon State, Virginia and Wake Forest with 5.

D1 has Florida first baseman-pitcher Jack Caglianone as its top prospect and followed by Oregon State second baseman Travis Bazzana, West Virginia first baseman JJ Weatherholt, Georgia third baseman Charlie Condon, Wake Forest pitcher Chase Burns fifth and Smith sixth.

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Arkansas freshman closer Gabe Gaeckle continues to rake up the postseason honors.

The California-born right hander was tabbed a Freshman All-American by both Baseball America and D1 Baseball on Monday after previously being selected by Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

Gaeckle (3-3. 2.32 ERA, 7 saves) is likely headed for the starting rotation next season per Van Horn.

He had six multi-inning saves and 57 strikeouts in 42.2 innings over his 22 relief outings.

In SEC games, Gaeckle was 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA, 26 strikeouts and three saves in 22.2 innings over 12 appearances.

He is fifth freshman pitcher to have at least five saves since Dave Van Horn took over as Arkansas head coach in 2023.

Photo By John D. James

(Last updated: 2024-07-09 16:54 PM)