Camden Hayslip received Division I football recruiting interest as an underclassman at Friendship Christian in Tennessee. Numerous Power Five programs expressed interest, including Louisville, who offered Hayslip a scholarship as a receiver.
Despite the college football interest, Hayslip felt his future was on the baseball diamond. He verbally committed to the University of Alabama as a sophomore in February 2019.
The decision to play baseball over football long-term will likely pay off for Hayslip in July. Scouts consider the prep outfielder as a top prospect in this year’s MLB draft. Hayslip has the potential to hear his name called in the first three rounds of the draft.
“It has been fun, but it also has been a lot with having to text scouts on when batting practice is or if there is a time change for a game,” Hayslip said. “But it has been fun talking with scouts and having them come to my game. I have just tried not to worry about them when I play and just do my best.”
Hayslip is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-handed hitting outfielder who has some of the best bat speed in the prep class. He consistently barrels up pitches and displays notable power potential. Offensively, he projects as a power-hitting outfielder in the pro ranks.
He currently plays center field for his high school team. Although Hayslip hopes to remain in center field long-term, scouts believe he profiles better in a corner outfield spot. He has respectable arm strength and solid speed for his size.
“My biggest strength right now is my power and speed combination,” Hayslip said. “I have always had the bat speed. With getting older and stronger, it has only helped with it too.”
Hayslip’s swing features a slight arm bar, but it hasn’t impacted his consistency at the plate. Between now and the start of the next phase in his baseball career, Hayslip hopes to refine his plate discipline while making sure he drives the ball to all parts of the field, he said.
“I just want to work on my consistency, staying through the zone and just working on my discipline,” Hayslip said. “I just want to keep working and getting better.”
Besides his status as a top draft prospect, Hayslip also is an Alabama commit. His relationship with the Alabama coaching staff and the program’s resurgence in recent years influenced his decision to commit to Alabama over interest from other schools.
“The campus and the energy around the campus are unreal,” Hayslip said. “With baseball, they are getting better again and have a lot of hype around it. I just want to be a part of a team that is going to get back to Omaha.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He has interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.