DeLand’s Scott Moss is upfront with teams about his expectations for this week’s Major League Baseball draft.
“I’ve been telling the scouts and the teams that I want to go in the top-50 picks and if not, I’d probably be going to University of Florida,” he said.
The 6-foot-6 left handed pitcher is in a group of Central Florida high school players that hope to hear their name called early in the draft, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m.
Moss, a Florida signee, was unhittable at times this season for the Bulldogs, finishing with a 4-2 record, 0.52 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 40 innings. He says teams had mixed reactions to his desire to be a top-50 pick.
“There have been positives and negatives. Some scouts look at it and say we can probably do that, others say there’s no way,” Moss said.
The likelihood of a prospect signing a contract carries significant weight as teams consider which players to draft.
While franchises will spend the next few days agonizing over top prospects, Moss feels no stress.
“It’s definitely a win-win. Either I go in the draft or I go to UF and I can get better in the 3-4 years that I’m there then get drafted again,” he said.
Baseball America editor John Manuel doesn’t expect Moss to be a high pick.
"He’s in our top 500 prospects and there’s a chance he can go there,” Manuel said. “There was nothing that really separated him this spring and I didn’t hear a ton of buzz about him this spring.”
Moss says MLB franchises have expressed excitement about his upside.
“Definitely projectability. They’re estimating me to get bigger and stronger,” he said. “They say I have a live arm and can increase velocity on my fastball with training.”
Time will tell whether teams feel Moss’s potential merits a high selection.
The first and second rounds of the draft can be seen on MLB Network. Rounds 3-40 will take place Friday and Saturday and will be streamed live on MLB.com
Austin Lyon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @AustinRLyon