Day one of the MLB Draft saw three ASN-affiliated athletes picked in the first round and a total of five in the first two rounds. High school outfielder Mickey Moniak was taken with the top pick in the draft by Philadelphia.
Mercer outfielder Kyle Lewis was chosen No. 11 by the Seattle Mariners, the first ever first-round pick for the Bears. According to MLB.com: Lewis “has easy pop to all fields. His swing is busier than most scouts would like, but his approach is generally sound and he tied for the D-I lead with 66 walks entering NCAA Tournament play…. Some evaluators think he has a chance to stay in center field, but most believe he’s destined for right field, where he could develop into a serious home run threat with average or better tools across the board.”
Lewis was the SoCon player of the year.
Kent State left-hander Eric Lauer, named Collegiate Baseball’s national Player of the Year and a first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, was the 25th pick in the draft, going to San Diego. Lauwer had a 0.69 ERA, the best by a Division I starter since 1979 and was 10-2 with 125 strikeouts in 104 innings. He was also the MAC’s pitcher of the year and is a finalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the year and a finalist for the 2016 Dick Howser Trophy. According to MLB.com: “Lauer has four effective pitches and mixes them well. His best offerings are a low-90s fastball that reaches 94 mph and features some cutting action and a nice downhill plane, and a solid 78-83 mph slider. … While he doesn’t have a true out pitch or a lofty ceiling, he may have a higher floor than any left-hander in the 2016 Draft. Lauer projects as a mid-rotation starter.”
Connecticut’s Anthony Kay was the 31st pick of the first-round, going to the Mets. The 5-11, 186 pound left-hander, called “a poor man’s Mark Buehrle” by MLB.com, was 9-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 17 starts for the Huskies. “Very excited,” Kay told Newsday. “I knew the Mets were high on me. … This is awesome.”
Taken in the second round on Thursday night were FAU shortstop C.J. Chatham by the Red Sox at No. 51 and Western Michigan left-hander Keegan Akin, taken No. 54 by the Orioles.
The draft resumes on Friday at 12:30 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday.
Above: Kyle Lewis was chosen No. 11 in the MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. (Courtesy Mercer)
Middle: Kent State’s Eric Lauer was the No. 25 pick, chosen by the San Diego Padres.