It’s too early to call, and with COVID-19 concerns, this year’s MLB draft itself may be moved to later in the year from its traditional June date. But pro baseball is going to return and when it does, Spruce Creek’s Zac Veen will be selected in its next draft. This we know.
Nathan Rode, National Supervisor for PBR, named Veen their current top high school MLB draft pick on March 11, noting: “As of right now, he has the best chance of being the first high school prospect off the board in the June.”
While SB Nation’s Hector Rodriguez predicts “Zac Veen is going to be a first-round pick and will most likely be a top-ten pick. There’s also a good chance Veen might be the first high school prospect taken in the 2020 MLB Draft. Veen has the tools to be a consensus All-Star at the next level.”
“Consensus All-Star” is a pretty bold prediction, so what makes Veen so special? He’s big at 6’4” and 195lbs, already a powerful hitter, and can play many field positions. Power hitters who can fill out roster gaps are extremely valuable in pro baseball. In addition, Veen is expected to add more weight, muscle, and hitting power as he grows more into his body.
Veen committed to play baseball at the University of Florida in the Fall 2020, but typically if a player is selected high in the draft they forgo playing college altogether, and instead sign with a MLB team and earn a large signing bonus. Signing bonuses for first round picks usually run in the millions, so that’s a lot of incentive to skip school.
What does it mean to be selected so high? Unlike the NBA, where prospects need to be at least 19 years old, or the NFL where prospects must be 3 years out of high school, Major League Baseball has a long history of drafting players a month after their high school playing season ends.
Most of these newbie players, however, go through their team’s extensive minor league farm system, where they will compete for playing time not only with veteran players, but also with rookie college and international players. Because of this, most high school players drafted never make it all the way to major league baseball, and remain in the farm leagues for their careers.
Players drafted high in the draft, however, have a step up because their big signing bonuses mean a team has already made a significant investment in their talent. While they also go through their MLB team’s farm system, they are typically fast tracked so they can play in big league games as soon as possible.
Which all means, because the high school baseball season is in flux, the next time Veen plays baseball may be as a well paid professional. Since Veen’s high school career may end early, we at HS Sports compiled a video of some of his top plays at Spruce Creek. For more, check out more Spruce Creek baseball video in the team’s game recap section.
In the meantime, best of luck to Zac Veen and his MLB prospects.
Portrait photo courtesy of David Tucker, Daytona Beach News-Journal