Five amateur players are scheduled to attend Major League Baseball's 2012 First-Year Player Draft, which will be held on Monday, June 4th at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey. The players, including Gavin Cecchini, Carlos Correa, Clint Coulter, Courtney Hawkins and Andrew Heaney, will represent the largest group of amateur players to attend a single First-Year Player Draft. The Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
Cecchini, a right-handed-hitting shortstop for Barbe High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana, hit .413 with seven home runs and 32 RBI while leading his team to the Louisiana Class 5A State Championship. Last fall, he helped lead USA Baseball's 18U National Team to a gold medal at the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia, hitting .500 with 17 RBI in 15 games. The 18-year-old, who played in the Little League World Series at age 12, was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana after batting .532 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI during his junior season in 2011. Gavin, who has signed a letter of intent to play at Ole Miss, is the younger brother of Garin Cecchini, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft.
Correa, a shortstop at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, was selected a Rawlings First Team All-American prior to the 2012 season. The 17-year-old right-handed hitter was selected to play in Puerto Rico's Excellence Tournament, where he went 2-for-3 with two home runs in the opening game and was later named the MVP of the tournament. Last summer, Correa was awarded the Golden Glove at the Perfect Game All-American Classic played at PETCO Park in San Diego. The Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico native has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Miami.
Coulter, a right-handed-hitting catcher at Union High School in Camas, Washington, earned All-State honors following his junior season in 2011 after batting .400 with four home runs. Clint, who is nominated for Washington's Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year for 2012, hit .515 in league play as a senior with 16 stolen bases and a .698 on-base percentage. The 18-year-old was named the Greater St. Helens League Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012, and was selected First Team All-League in each of his four seasons. Clint, who has signed a letter of intent to play at Arizona State University, was also selected to the 2010 and 2011 All-Region Team.
Hawkins, a right-handed-hitting outfielder and pitcher at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, led his team to the Texas Class 5A State Championship as a sophomore in 2010 and was named MVP of the game. Courtney, who was selected to play in the 2011 Area Code Games and Perfect Game Classic, batted .410 with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 22 stolen bases and a .940 slugging percentage in his junior season in 2011, and went 10-2 with a 2.35 ERA and 81 strikeouts on the mound. The 18-year-old began his 2012 season hitting .457 with 10 home runs, 36 RBI and 16 stolen bases to go along with a 3-1 mark on the mound with a 0.83 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 25.1 innings pitched. Courtney, who has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Texas, has been named First Team All-American, First Team All-State, First Team All-South Texas and First Team All-District in each of the last three seasons.
Heaney, a left-handed pitcher at Oklahoma State University, went 8-2 with a 1.60 ERA, six complete games and three shutouts in 15 starts this season as a junior. In 118.1 innings pitched, he permitted just 21 earned runs on 74 hits with 22 walks and 140 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .180 batting average. Andrew was selected the 2012 Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year, marking the first Cowboy to win the award, and he was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team. The 20-year-old has also been named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and a finalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame National Pitcher of the Year. Heaney tied for the team lead with seven wins as a sophomore in 2011, and led the Cowboys with five wins in 2010, becoming the first freshman pitcher to lead the team in wins since 2001. Andrew was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 24th round of the 2009 Draft out of Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City. Previous First-Year Player Draft attendees include Josh Vitters (3rd overall pick, CHI, 2007); Ross Detwiler (6th overall pick, WSH, 2007); Phillippe Aumont (11th overall pick, SEA, 2007); Aaron Hicks (14th overall pick, MIN, 2008); Mike Trout (25th overall pick, LAA, 2009); and Larry Greene (36th overall pick, PHI, 2011).
The 2012 Draft will span three days. For day one on June 4th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round as well as the first compensation round. Beginning with the Draft preview show, MLB Network's live coverage will feature interviews with club front office personnel and representatives, footage from club draft rooms, interviews with prospects and newly drafted players, and news and analysis from MLB Network's Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, John Hart, Brian Kenny, Harold Reynolds, Sam Ryan, Lauren Shehadi, and Matt Yallof, as well as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com and Jim Callis of Baseball America.
The selection order of the First-Year Player Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. Compensation picks have been assigned to Clubs whose Type A or Type B free agents signed with other Clubs and/or to Clubs that did not sign a player who was chosen in the first three rounds of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The Houston Astros will have the first overall selection of the 2012 Draft, marking the third time in Club history it has the top choice (previous: 1976, 1992). Four Clubs have two first round picks: the Toronto Blue Jays (17th and 22nd), the St. Louis Cardinals (19th and 23rd), the Boston Red Sox (24th and 31st) and the Milwaukee Brewers (27th and 28th). The Cardinals have five of the first 59 selections and the Blue Jays hold five of the first 60 picks.