JJ Schwarz is arguably the top college baseball talent in the nation and has a very high chance of going first overall in the MLB draft. The catcher from the University of Florida broke onto the scene with an outstanding freshman year. He continued that will another solid campaign in his sophomore season. Raved about for both his contact skills and his power, Schwarz is currently spending his summering Cape Cod, playing for the Y-D Red Sox.Y-D is currently looking to three-peat this season after Ben Bowden and Donnie Walton led them to a title last year.
After his freshman season, Schwarz was the front runner to be the first overall pick in the 2017 draft. However, his numbers slightly regressed in his sophomore season causing his draft stock to slide a bit. He is still in good shape to be a top-3 draft pick, but a strong summer on the Cape could allow him to separate himself from the rest of the pack. Schwarz also starred for the USA Baseball Collegiate team, helping them to secure a gold medal.
At Florida, Schwarz showed the baseball world his abilities by slugging 18 home runs and hitting at a .332 clip his freshman year. Then next year before his sophmore season, Schwarz was named to the Preseason All-American team. His numbers were slightly down to 8 home runs and a .290 batting average that year.
Now, on the Cape, Schwarz has the opportunity to show scouts his immense talent and potential and be launched back into the conversation to be the first player selected in next year's draft. When he is drafted though, Schwarz has the arm strength to stay at catcher throughout his professional career: something not many players are capable of doing.
It seems as if Schwarz is following in Buster Posey's footsteps. Posey, a MVP winner in 2012 and a three-time World Series champion, also played on the Cape for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. The similarities don't stop there as they both play the same position and both went to college in the state of Florida. Schwarz also uses the same routine when he steps into the box before an at-bat. It will be interesting to see if Schwarz is able to reach the same level of greatness as Posey, but if any player could do it in this draft class, it is Schwarz.
Schwarz is the player with arguably the highest floor, and possibly even the player with the highest ceiling in the entire draft. If all goes well, Schwarz could be a perennial All-Star in the MLB. Towards the end of his career Schwarz may have to switch positions, but until then the future is looking bright for him at catcher. He definitely has the tools to become a star, but whether he is able to utilize them is the real question.
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