ESPN scout ranks Tennessee Vols baseball players among MLB prospects

After a special season on the diamond, it’s no surprise the Tennessee Vols are losing some talent in the MLB draft. Their attack will be particularly affected. Drew Gilbert, Jordan Beck, Trey Lipscomb and Joel Ortega are all expected to be drafted. Gilbert and Beck are projected by many as first-round selections.

Rankings

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has Gilbert, Beck, Blade Tidwell, Lipscomb and Ben Joyce all in the top 100 for him. So the Vols will also lose some valuable pitching coins. There’s a very good chance they’ll all make the first five rounds of the draft. Luckily for the Vols, they have plenty of pitching depth that may intensify next season.

Signed Vols outfielder Alex Stanwich is ranked at 194. Ortega sits at 211 for McDaniel, perhaps a bit lower than Vols fans might have expected.

Tidwell competed in several first-round simulations alongside Beck and Gilbert. Tidwell’s raw traits are certainly appealing as he already has a top 90s fastball and more than two off-speed pitches. It makes a lot of sense. However, injury and reliever issues could push him to be a second- or third-round selection. That being said, Tidwell had better command in his sophomore year.

Ben Joyce is perhaps the biggest conundrum in the draft. The flamethrower that easily hits 100 MPH is currently being mocked in the second or third round of most fictional drafts. The advantage is clearly there, and he came back better than ever last season after Tommy John surgery.

Go forward

The Vols will have a lot to replace next season, but Tony Vitello has proven himself to be an elite recruiter and a leading force in the transfer portal. They will reload. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how the roster fares without many of their stars from last season.

Image featured via USA TODAY-Sports

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