A pair of junior infielders from Mississippi State University and former Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) standouts, Justin Foscue and Jordan Westburg, both heard their names called on the first night of the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
Foscue, a 2018 member of the Amsterdam Mohawks, was chosen by the Texas Rangers with the 14th overall pick in the first round. Westburg, who played for the 2018 Elmira Pioneers, was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 30th overall pick, the first in the Competitive Balance Round A.
Primarily a third baseman for the Mohawks, Foscue joined the team in the second half of the season and helped Amsterdam reach the championship series. He batted .304 with a .913 OPS in 56 at-bats during the regular season. Not only did he slug two home runs, the former All-SEC honoree from Huntsville, Alabama, also showed tremendous patience at the plate by working out 16 walks versus just 10 strikeouts. During his All-America sophomore season with the Bulldogs last spring, Foscue hit .331 with career highs in runs (66), RBIs (60), doubles (22), and home runs (14).
MLB.com noted that “Foscue went from light-hitting third baseman as a freshman to consensus All-America second baseman as a sophomore, helping Mississippi State reach the College World Series in both 2018 and 2019…He provides more offense than most at his position, using strength, bat speed and a pull-heavy approach to generate plenty of power from the right side of the plate.”
Likewise, Westburg joined the Pioneers in Elmira following Mississippi State’s run in the College World Series and proved to be one of the team’s best all-around players. The shortstop from New Braunfels, Texas, led all Pios with a .368 batting average and a 1.044 OPS, while ranking second on the squad with 10 doubles. A preseason All-SEC selection, Westburg was on pace for his best offensive season in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the season. He began his junior campaign hitting .317 with 17 runs and 11 RBIs in 16 starts.
According to MLB.com, “Foscue has been a more consistent hitter but Westburg has a higher ceiling and more defensive value…Westburg has solid speed and arm strength to match, giving him a chance to stick at shortstop at the next level. He's big for the position at 6-foot-3 and if he adds more strength to his frame, he could slow down and necessitate a move to third base. With his power potential, he still could profile offensively at the hot corner.”
Called the best double-play combination in college baseball, Foscue and Westburg mark the second pair of teammates in Mississippi State history to be picked in the first round of the MLB Draft. Additionally, Foscue’s selection at No. 14 makes him the highest-ever draft choice in PGCBL history, two spots better than Watertown’s Matt Thaiss (Virginia), who was taken at No. 16 by the Angels in 2016.