Locals Austin Martin, Colby Halter among top MLB draft prospects

Vanderbilt's Austin Martin (16) during an NCAA baseball game against Michigan on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three players with area ties are among the top 150 prospects for the Major League Baseball draft, including the No. 2 overall player available.

Vanderbilt multi-purpose Austin Martin, a Trinity Christian graduate, led the way among area prospects, coming in at No. 2 in the updated prospect rankings on MLB.com. The MLB draft date has yet to be announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an unsettled format that could see a reduction in rounds.

Jacksonville University right-handed pitcher Trent Palmer came in ranked 115th and Bishop Kenny infielder Colby Halter was 149th. Halter was the only area high schooler in the top 150.

Halter hit .338 as a junior at Kenny and played on the USA Baseball U-18 national team last fall and has signed with Florida. The bulk of his senior season was wiped out by the coronavirus.

Palmer was 2-1 with 41 Ks in 27.2 IP this season the Dolphins. He is 10-6 in his career at JU.

Martin led Vanderbilt to the College World Series title last year and was leading the Commodores at the plate (.377) when the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The true junior was a 37th round pick of the Indians out of Trinity in 2017.

The highest-drafted local player from the area was Bolles product Chipper Jones, who went to the Braves No. 1 overall in 1990. The MLB draft could look different this year due to the pandemic. The Players Association has proposed shortening the draft to five rounds, although MLB has not announced a ruling on it.

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