With the MLS SuperDraft coming up on January 12th, Burgundy Wave is doing some miniature profiles of the players that are likely to be taken by the Colorado Rapids with their 14th overall pick in the first round. Today, we're looking at UCONN Center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
One of the things to remember about the Colorado Rapids is that they are in a situation where they won't be picking a guy that they're going to need to start in league play right away. Pretty much every position has a first team starter firmly in place, and it's unlikely that unless there is a big name signing - Jamie Castrillon is a great example of this - the Rapids aren't going to be looking for a CJ Sapong or Jalil Anibaba to immediately fit in and try and contribute to the team with 20 starts right away.Andrew Jean-Baptiste is a fairly new name being thrust into the drafting world this season, being the last member of Generation Adidas to sign. That GA status is going to give him a lot more boost than his statistics and whatnot, so he's probably a lot less likely than Austin Berry to fall to Colorado at the 14th pick. This is despite the fact that the two of them are actually pretty close to being the same player.
Jean-Baptiste is another big man on campus at 6'2'' and 205 pounds. During the combine he was actually playing on the same team as Austin Berry which gave us a look at just how similar the two of them are. Austin Berry might be a bit more physical, but Jean-Baptiste was clearly not afraid to take people on in defense, always a good sign in the physical league that is MLS. His passing seemed fairly on par if not a bit better than Berry's as well. He's certainly worth a look in the top 10 of the draft and his GA status will only increase the good looking resume.
Honestly, there's really not much to say about him that we didn't say about Berry. He's likely to be gone by 14th but it's the MLS draft so honestly we don't have a clue. If he does fall to Colorado at 14th they'll likely not snub him like they did with Michael Tetteh last season. Either way, he'll be a great guy for our currently terrible center back depth. And honestly, with Jamie Castrillon style signings possibly in our future it's probably a good idea to just take the very best talent available to Colorado regardless of position.
In other news, why are two of the three picks I've chosen out for the Rapids here from UCONN?