While many teams are taking senior signs in the 9th round, the Phillies take a college junior in Mark Laird out of LSU. Laird will play center field for the Phillies, despite playing right field in a loaded LSU outfield. He has plus plus speed and very little power. He will likely sign for close to slot and seems like a Ben Revere type player, but ceiling is likely closer to 4th outfielder as he can play all 3 outfield positions.
MLB Pre-Draft Report:
Through 59 games for Louisiana State University, Laird was hitting .324/.388/.382 with one home run, 22 RBIs and 23 steals in 29 attempts. The 6-foot-2 outfielder hit .291 with 10 doubles, two triples, 27 RBIs, 38 runs and 10 steals in 2014, when he was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team and the SEC Academic Honor Roll. The left-handed hitter batted a team-best .400 during LSU’s postseason run as a freshman in 2013.
BA Pre-Draft Report
Because he plays on the same team with Alex Stevenson, Laird doesn’t play center field for Louisiana State, but he’ll need to move to center in pro ball to be more than a backup. The good news is scouts saw him demonstrate above-average defense at the position in the Cape Cod League last summer. A 70 runner with bottom-of-the-scale power, Laird has a handsy swing that is a best suited for serving as a top-of-the-order spark plug.