Five Sleepers In The PBA League Draft


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While it’s pretty obvious who the top available players in Sunday’s PBA League Draft powered by BowlerX are, once we get to the later picks the picture is a whole lot less clear.

In total, 26 players from a pool of 52 will be drafted onto teams Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern when the draft happens live on FloBowling.

All 10 team managers will be looking for diamonds in the rough once the draft gets to the later rounds. Here are FloBowling Senior Editor Lucas Wiseman’s top five sleepers in this year’s draft.

1. Packy Hanrahan

A powerful two-handed lefty, Hanrahan endured a difficult rookie season in 2019. He burst onto the scene at the 2020 PBA Oklahoma Open in January when he made his first show and finished fifth. It seems like teams often prefer to have at least one lefty on the roster and Hanrahan, who competed collegiately at Wichita State, could fill that role nicely.

2. Nick Pate

Pate has flirted with success on the PBA Tour the past couple seasons and has had a solid start to the 2020 season. He made the show and finished third at the PBA Indianapolis Open just a couple weeks after narrowly missing the show at the PBA Players Championship, finishing sixth. Like many of the players on this list Pate has a college bowling pedigree, competing for Midland University from 2013-17.

3. Chris Via

Via, who has been on the PBA Tour the past few years with limited success, has upped his game so far this season. You could argue the coronavirus shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for Via as he had made two major shows in a row. He finished fifth at the U.S. Open in February and then made the show at the PBA World Championship, finishing fifth in the last PBA event held. Via, who has team experience competing for Team USA and was a collegiate standout, may thrive in the PBA League environment.

4. Greg Young

A rookie on the PBA Tour last season, it took some time for Young to settle into things. He shined during the PBA Summer Tour, however, and made two championship-round appearances. He finished third at the PBA Chesapeake Open and fifth at the PBA Wolf Open. Young has shown continuous improvement since going pro by evidence of the tweaks he’s made to his game. A two-time national champion collegiate bowler at McKendree, Young is a player to watch.

5. Matt McNiel

McNiel only bowls occasionally on the PBA Tour but the fact that he’s even eligible for the draft should tell you all you need to know. He only competed in seven events last season and six events so far in 2020, but he makes the most of it when he shoes up. McNiel made two shows at the 2019 World Series of Bowling, finishing fourth in the PBA Cheetah Championship and third in the PBA World Championship. He actually competed in the league in 2016 for the Silver Lake Atom Splitters and is another lefty who could find a spot on a team’s roster in 2020.

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