Will the Johnnies hear a familiar name this week during the Major League Baseball Draft?
Success has bred professional opportunities. In 2015, St. John’s baseball had six players drafted. Last season, reliever Thomas Hackimer heard his name called in the 4th round by the Minnesota Twins, and Ty Blankmeyer was picked by the Reds in the 36th round following a 28-win season, a drop off from the previous two.
This year’s 42-win squad doesn’t have many names on Baseball America’s top-500 list, but with so many players to scout, the draft is often filled with surprise.
Shortstop Jesse Berardi, a 5’10” junior who was drafted in the 40th round by the Phillies back in 2014, stands the best chance to be picked tonight or by midday tomorrow in the baseball draft.
Scouting from MLB.com:
He has a very good internal clock that helps him slow down the game, and he gets rid of the ball quickly, but many feel his arm, average at best, isn't enough to stay on the left side of the infield long-term. His hands and feet should work just fine at second. Not the biggest guy in the world, Berardi has shown a strong hit tool this spring from the left side of the plate, with an advanced approach that has led to more walks than strikeouts in his college career. He has some extra-base power and can run into a few homers along the way.
As a junior, Berardi can decide not to accept the offer from an MLB team and return for his senior season and improve his standing. It worked for Thomas Hackjimer, who moved up 11 rounds in a spectacular senior year.
Star freshman pitcher Sean Mooney is not yet eligible for the draft; players must either be drafted out of high school or complete three years at college before being picked.
The 2017 MLB Draft kicks off tonight at 7pm eastern with Rounds One and Two and continues through Wednesday. The MLB Network will have the first two rounds, while that round and Tuesday and Wednesday’s picks will be on a live stream at MLB.com.