With the 2017 MLB Draft getting started Monday night, North Carolina’s shortstop Logan Warmoth was the second Tar Heel off the board as the 22nd pick of the draft by the Blue Jays. The late first round was roughly around where Warmoth was expected to be taken according to various mock drafts.
Warmoth was a force at the top of the Tar Heels’ lineup, batting .336/.404/.554 with 19 doubles and 10 home runs. He was the only Carolina hitter to hit the double digit home run milestone this season. Warmoth’s batting average was second only to Brian Miller on the team, and his slugging led all of his teammates.
Unlike most prototypical MLB shortstops, Warmoth brings a ton of value to the table with his bat. His defense is very good at shortstop, but what he brings to the table offensively is what sets him apart from other shortstops and likely what got him drafted where he was. The Orlando native was one of the best hitters in the country this season. As a junior at Carolina, he was one of three first-team All-Americans, joining pitchers J.B. Bukauskas and Josh Hiatt.
The 22nd pick has a slot value of $2,795,200. Baseball America ranked Warmoth as the 19th best prospect in the draft, but he was ranked as high as 7th by ESPN. ESPN’s ranking even had him ahead of Bukauskas, who went 15th overall.
Some believe that Warmoth may eventually slide over to second base at the next level, but his outstanding defense could keep him as a shortstop as a professional. John Manuel made the comparison to Brian Dozier in the draft room, which is pretty good praise.