Mercer's Lewis, Kent State's Lauer, UConn's Kay first-rounders in MLB Draft
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.