When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.
Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).
Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).
Memphis University H.S. (Memphis, Ten.)
Baseball America 35
Maurice Hampton, who won’t turn 18 until August, is a terrific two-sport athlete who will have a tough decision to make once he gets drafted. You see, he’s verbally committed to LSU as both an outfielder and a four-star safety. This will be a little different than the Kyler Murray situation, as Murray was already playing collegiately for the Oklahoma Sooners at the time he was drafted last June. Would Hampton be willing to sacrifice playing safety for the SEC powerhouse and forgo a potential NFL career? We may know more the closer we get to the June MLB draft.
Hampton (6´0´´, 210 pounds) is a terrific runner, as one can imagine, clocking in recently with a 6.44-second 60-yard-dash according to PerfectGame. Hampton’s speed plays well in the outfield, and his accurate arm has above-average strength; however, he still needs work on improving his jumps and routes on fly balls. Being a two-sport athlete, he’s a little raw as a hitter, as he simply hasn’t attained as many reps as a one-sport athlete. As it is, Hampton hits from a spread stance, has a short and quick swing with lots of strength behind it, with the ball coming off the barrel hard. He’s comfortable with a middle-of-the-field approach presently.
Hampton excelled with the bat last summer, improving as the exhibition season got longer. Thus, he showed what’s capable if he simply focuses on baseball. His grades according to MLB are as follows: 65 run, 55 arm and field, and 50 for hit and power.
The White Sox won’t be considering Hampton with the third overall pick. However, if he falls to the second round due to signability concerns, would the Sox consider drafting him? It certainly would be possible, especially if the Sox pay him significantly over-slot money. Hampton’s got a tremendous amount of upside on both sides of the ball, and could well be worth the risk if he signs. Plus, the Sox supposedly are interested in high-ceiling prospects. However, the chances of Hampton falling to the second round seem relatively slight, as all three major draft sites listed above have Hampton slated to be drafted before the White Sox choose at No. 45.
Here’s a video of Thompson at the Perfect Game National Showcase last June, courtesy of 2080 Baseball:
In place of the long list of Draft Prospects You Should Know with story links that usually resides here, just click the “Draft Prospects You Should Know” on our page, below the main stories, to access a list of every player so far profiled.