Year in and year out, the Louisville Baseball program continues to produce high level talent, on the field results, and numerous selections during the MLB Draft. This year was no different.
Five Cardinals heard their name called during the draft, two more signed undrafted free agent deals, and many recruits made tough decisions about the future of their baseball careers. So, what does all of this mean for the 2023 roster?
This is what we know:
Dalton Rushing - Drafted 40th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers, has not agreed to terms (Slot value: $1,951, 900)
The next chapter has begun.@daltonrushing7 ➡️ @Dodgers #GoCards | #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/dwQKeweBjV— Louisville Baseball (@LouisvilleBSB) July 18, 2022
Jared Poland - Drafted 172nd overall by the Miami Marlins, has not agreed to terms (Slot value: $306,400)
Michael Prosecky - Drafted 176th by the Colorado Rockies, signed bonus of $300,000.
Ben Metzinger - Drafted 222nd by the Milwaukee Brewers, has not agreed to terms (Slot value: $204,500)
Levi Usher - Drafted 295th by the Kansas City Royals, signed bonus of $153,600.
Carter Lohman - Signed undrafted free agent deal wit the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cam Masterman - Signed undrafted free agent deal with the Oakland Athletics.
I can’t not think of this every time I hear Mastermans name.
.@Cam_Masterman at the plate, @CardsPA on the call.#GoCards | #RoadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/eXJNuUbsya— Louisville Baseball (@LouisvilleBSB) June 7, 2022
The four remaining unsigned prospects will ultimately put ink to paper, it’s just a matter of time for the two parties to make it happen.
Tate Kuehner, who went undrafted and is yet to sign a free agent deal, appears that he will head back to campus for one more year. If this does play out, it would be a huge win for Louisville. I also think it gives Kuehner the opportunity to showcase his talents and hear his name called next year during the draft. He is certainly worthy of a draft pick in my opinion.
Ben Bianco, Luke Seed, Chris Seng, and Garrett Schmeltz have all graduated.
What about the recruiting class?
According to Perfect Game, Louisville signed the third best class in the country, only behind LSU and Vandy. Not bad company.
Part of signing a top tier recruiting class means that a few of the signees will also hear their name called on draft day.
Cam Collier (3B) - Drafted 18th overall by the Cincinnati Reds, signed for $5,000,000.
Jacob Miller (RHP) - Drafted 43rd overall by the Miami Marlins, signed bonus of $1,697,900
Logan Wagner (SS) - Drafted 195th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers, has not agreed to terms (Slot value: $253,400)
As crazy as it sounds, these are likely to be the only three commits that sign professionally and do not show up on campus. You have to think Dan McDonnell and Co. are thrilled to only lose three members of this class to the draft.
Gavin Kilen (399th overall) and Korbyn Dickerson (594th overall) both heard their names called but they are expected to remain on campus.
Although we are *just* seven months shy of the first game in January, you can begin piecing the 2023 roster together. This is almost certain to be wrong, but I’ll give it my best shot.
Matts Vol. 1 of the 2023 Louisville Baseball Lineup
C - Jack Payton and Austin Bode (don’t count out freshman Will Vierling)
1B - Ryan McCoy (Wabash Valley CC transfer) or Will Cook (missed 2022 due to labrum injury)
2B - Christian Knapczyk (yes, I think he moves from SS)
SS - Gavin Kilen
3B - Logan Beard (moving from 2B)
OF - Isaac Humphrey
OF - JT Benson
OF - Haven Mangrum (Columbia State CC transfer - think Levi Usher on the base paths, elite speed)
The possibility of leaving Knapczyk at shortstop and Beard at second opens the door for Brandon Anderson to step up at third base. Anderson saw limited action in 2022 but the lineup did not miss a beat and he looked very comfortable defensively.
As far as pitching goes, I think that is going to be a fluid situation until opening day next February. Based on the results of the 2022 season, you have to think both Riley Phillips and Carson Liggett have made their case to begin the season in the rotation, but nothing is set in stone. Kade Grundy will also be in the conversation as well
The 208 day countdown to the season opener begins now.