This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Pleasant Grove High School catcher Payton Henry embarks on the next phase of his life this week.
He's just not certain where the journey will begin.
A two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, Henry is Utah's most highly rated prospect heading into the upcoming major league draft, which starts Thursday.
Henry has already accepted a full scholarship to BYU, but depending on how quickly he's taken in the draft, he could end up starting his professional career.
"Two good options," said Henry, who worked out for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies in the 115-degree heat of Scottsdale on Saturday.
Henry's father, Darrin, is also the coach at Pleasant Grove. He says every major league team has scouted his son, who "tore it up" at a pre-draft workout last week in Milwaukee.
This season, Payton Henry hit .519 with seven homers and 31 RBIs. In the classroom, he compiled a 3.88 GPA.
"He has the power they love," Darrin Henry said. "That's why he's a prospect. But he hits for average, too."
Said Payton Henry: "Teams are telling me I have a plus-arm and plus-power. So I guess those would have to be my strong points."
Darrin Henry believes his son could be drafted as high as the second, third or fourth round. But there aren't any guarantees.
"A lot of teams are telling me they're interested," Payton Henry said. "So we'll have to see."
Asked how far he would have to drop in the draft to consider attending BYU and playing for coach Mike Littlewood, Henry declined to mention a specific round.
"There's definitely a little line in the sand," he said. "Obviously, the higher I go the better. … If I end up going lower [than expected], I'd think about college a little more."
Besides Henry, two other Utah players are listed among the top 300 draft prospects by Baseball America. They include BYU outfielder Brennon Lund (No. 214) and Cougar right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker (No. 251).
Lund, a junior from South Jordan, hit .400 this season with two homers and 34 RBIs.
Rucker, who is from Lake Tapps, Wash., went 11-1 with a 2.73 earned run average as a junior. He struck out 94 batters in 102 1⁄3 innings.
"He's got a great future," Littlewood said after Rucker was named to the All-West Coast Conference team. "We sure wish we'd have him back next year, but I don't think it's going to happen. I think he's going to have a good chance of playing pro ball next year."
Other than Henry, Lund and Tucker, there are a handful of other prospects from Utah who have a chance to be drafted.
Among them are infielder Dallas Carroll and right-handed pitcher Dalton Carroll from the University of Utah, right-handed pitcher Danny Beddes and infielder Greyson Bogden from Utah Valley and pitcher-catcher Joe Barlow of Salt Lake Community College.
Philadelphia owns the No. 1 pick of the draft, followed by Cincinnati, Atlanta, Colorado and Milwaukee.
The Phillies are reportedly interested in taking La Costa Canyon (Calif.) High School outfielder Mickey Moniak.
Other possible top-five draft picks include left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk of Florida, outfielder Corey Ray of Louisville, left-handed pitcher Jason Groome of Barnegat, N.J., outfielder Kyle Lewis of Mercer, right-handed pitcher Riley Pint of Overland Park, Kansas, and Puerto Rican shortstop Delvin Perez.
The Los Angeles Angels, who are the major league affiliate of the Salt Lake Bees, pick 16th in the first round. They might have their eye on a power-hitting high school outfielder like Alex Kirilloff of New Kensington, Pa.
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2016 Major League Baseball draft
P Thursday to Saturday, at Seacacus, N.J.
TV • MLB Network, 5 p.m.