High School Sports

George County slugger excited to see how MLB Draft plays out

CHRIS TODD/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD/FILE 
 George County's Walker Robbins is projected to be the top Mississippi high school product drafted in this weekend's MLB Draft.
CHRIS TODD/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD/FILE George County's Walker Robbins is projected to be the top Mississippi high school product drafted in this weekend's MLB Draft.

Throughout his prep career at George County, Walker Robbins was a main attraction.

Not only did fans fill the bleachers to see Robbins and his Rebel teammates take the diamond, but the 6-foot-3, 215-pound southpaw was of special interest to scouts.

It wasn't uncommon to see the area behind home plate filled with MLB scouts on days Robbins started. Scouts would even come to side sessions and practices to get a good glimpse of Robbins.

Thursday will kick off one of the biggest weekends in Robbins' life as the MLB Draft begins with the first and second rounds at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.

While leading George County to back-to-back South State titles, Robbins didn't let the additional attention bog down his results.

"Sometimes it could get overwhelming when you see the radar guns pop up behind there," said Robbins, the 2016 Sun Herald Baseball Player of the Year. "Sometimes it added a little extra push to where you could throw a little bit harder.

"I just tried to really focus on what was happening because sometimes you could let the pressure get to you. You just have to keep playing like you have been playing."

Robbins is a legitimate two-way prospect.

Seeing Robbins rack up 110 strikeouts against just 18 walks while posting a 0.67 ERA would be enticing enough for a professional club. But he also took another step forward in the batter's box as a senior, hitting .477 with 13 extra-base hits.

Although he throws in the low 90s as a southpaw, MLB.com senior writer Jim Callis and others in his field believe Robbins will be drafted as a position player.

Given his druthers, Robbins said it doesn't really matter where he ends up.

"I just want to get out there and play everyday," he said. "Whatever happens, happens and I'm just going to keep on playing.

Rankings

MLBPipeline.com currently ranks Robbins as the 93rd player in the draft. Baseball America has Robbins 116th and Perfect Game ranks Robbins 138th.

So, what do those rankings mean?

According to Major League Baseball's draft bonus slots, if Robbins was drafted in those precise spots, he could be looking at a signing bonus ranging from $645,600 to $413,600.

Teams will often try to manage their draft pool so that they can pay a prep draft pick above slot to lure them away from a college commitment.

So what will it take for Robbins to bypass Mississippi State and turn pro?

"We talked a little bit. We don't really have a number or round right now, but hopefully I'll end up going early," he said. "Whatever happens, happens. If I get drafted, great, but going to Mississippi State, you can't pass that up, either.

"It would be a great opportunity to go to Mississippi State, too, so whichever way I go it will really work out good."

The team to beat

It's hard to get a good read on who might draft Robbins. It's not uncommon for a player to be plucked by a team he had limited contact with. That being said, two teams stood out to Robbins during the scouting process.

"I think the Padres and Brewers really did come a lot to practices and stuff," he said. "They were talking to me a lot, but I really don't know right now. It's so hard with everything going on. Just hope it works out for the best."

Greer Holston

Another Coast product who could get selected this weekend is former St. Stanislaus product Greer Holston.

After winning a Class 4A state championship in 2015 with the Rockachaws, Holston opted to pitch his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Holston posted a 6-2 record with a 1.04 ERA in 12 appearances, striking out 59 against eight walks in 47 innings.

The Ole Miss signee is ranked 443rd on Baseball America's Top 500 draft ranking.

The MLB Draft runs through Saturday and will be televised on MLB Network and MLB.com.

  Comments