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MLB Draft: how to watch; St. John's Tom Hackimer a likely second-day selection

A look at how to follow and a pair of other Red Storm baseball players to watch for

Baseball - dugout Wendell Cruz

With Golden Spikes semifinalist and star closer Thomas Hackimer a likely selection tonight, and a history of multiple draft picks from St. John's (the Johnnies had six players chosen last year, including Hackimer, who chose to return to school), the Major League Baseball Draft is an event the Red Storm coaches and players keep a steady eye on.

The Draft begins this evening - one of three days of draft action. The set up:

  • Thursday night, the first two rounds and supplemental picks are available to watch on the MLB Network (which might be in your cable package, so check!) and also on MLB.com.
  • Rounds three through 10 begin at 1:00 PM and are available on mlb.com.
  • Saturday, starting at 9:00 AM, are rounds 11 to 40, also on mlb.com.

Each selection will be tweeted live on @MLBDraftTracker on Twitter as well.

Who to watch for

Other players might get drafted, but these three stand out as players who were on baseball team's radars coming into the season.

Thomas Hackimer - 28 appearances and eight saves, 1.17 ERA, .133 batting average against, 71 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.

He is listed in Major League Baseball's top 200 (at 174) and was drafted last season in the 14th round by the Mets, but chose to go back to school and improve his standing.

Here is MLB.com's scouting report on him:

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45

A New York native who stayed home to pitch out of the St. John's bullpen, Hackimer turned down the Mets after being drafted in the 15th round a year ago to return to the Red Storm for his senior year. The school's career saves leader put up video game numbers this spring, making the decision seem like a good one.

Hackimer dominated college hitters with two pitches delivered from a funky sidearm slot that adds deception to every delivery. His fastball is just about average velocity-wise, thrown 88-91 mph, but it plays up because it has plus plus life and he can throw it effectively to both sides of the plate. Right-handed hitters have no chance and when his slider is effective, he can get lefties out as well.

If he can continue to show he can get hitters on both sides out, he has the ceiling of a setup man. If not, he could find a niche as a right-handed specialist.

He isn't likely to go in the first two rounds, but tomorrow's Draft selections should include the sidearming reliever.

MLB's scouting video:

More game video:

Michael Donadio - the senior outfielder batted .315 and had the team's second-highest slugging percentage among regulars at .452 (leading the team in doubles with 16), and a .420 on base percentage. He stole eight bases (in 11 tries) and hit three home runs and drove in 32 RBI. He started and played all 55 of the Red Storm's games.

Ryan McAuliffe - started 15 games, 4.32 ERA, .266 batting average against, 44 strikeouts in 77 innings.