While Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost may not be a household name for baseball fans in Atlanta, that will likely begin to change in the near future. Pentecost has been selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, and he is on his way to the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
The 6-foot-1, 190-Pound catcher has had an incredible season with the Owls, posting a .424/.479/.631 slash line with 9 home runs in 60 games, and he was named as the Player of the Year in the Atlantic Sun conference. Obviously, those numbers are astronomical in comparison to Major League baselines, but he has been the best player on a team that has a fighting chance at making the College World Series, and that is impressive. He entered the night as the top collegiate prospect from the state of Georgia, and as expected, he was the first to fly off the draft board.
Prior to the draft, ESPN’s Keith Law ranked Pentecost as the 22nd overall player in the class (in addition to having him projected as the 9th pick overall), and had this to say about his prospects:
The draft’s best pure catcher, Pentecost can catch, throw, run and hit for average. The biggest question facing him is how his unorthodox swing will handle wood bats and pro pitching.
While Pentecost may not have the “upside” of an All-Star like Buster Posey or even Brian McCann before him as prospects from the state of Georgia, he grades out positively across the board, which is an encouraging thing. Scouts seem to agree that Pentecost’s best tool is the “hit” tool, which allows him to get on base at a very nice clip, and if he can defend at an average Major League level, he could be on the fast track to the big leagues.