MLB Top Prospects

Vanderbilt matches national best with three on Baseball America list

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three Commodores appear on Baseball America’s post-draft top 100 prospects list, headlined by Austin Martin at No. 16. The junior was selected fifth overall by the Toronto Blue Jays and was one of an SEC-best four Commodores drafted earlier this month.

Martin is joined on the list by former teammate JJ Bleday (No. 49) and former Commodore hurler Kyle Wright (No. 70). Bleday was taken fourth overall by the Miami Marlins in 2019 and Wright went fifth overall to the Atlanta Braves in 2017.

Vanderbilt and Oregon State lead all universities with three former student-athletes on the list. The SEC paces leagues with 11 representatives on the list, followed by the Pac-12 (8) and ACC (4).

According to Baseball America, Martin, “instantly became the Jays’ best offensive prospect,” and, “has a variety of potential defensive outcomes.” The Jacksonville, Florida, product led the SEC in average (.392), hits per game (1.62), on-base percentage (.486) and runs (87) in 2019 while being named to the SEC all-defensive team.

Bleday paced collegiate baseball with 27 home runs in 2019 before registering 36 hits in 38 games with the Class-A Jupiter Hammerheads. Per the publication, the outfielder, “has the potential to develop into an above-average regular in a corner and could move relatively quickly.”

Wright made his Major League debut in September 2018 after ascending through the Braves farm system. He has since spent time between Atlanta and Triple-A Gwinnett. The right-hander, “has knockout stuff at times — his fastball topped at 99 mph and each of his three offspeed pitches projects to be a tick above-average.”

Vanderbilt led the nation with 15 former student-athletes who made an MLB appearance in 2019 including three all-stars (Walker Buehler, Mike Minor and Sonny Gray). The group is joined by more than 30 Commodores in the minor league ranks.