FIU has size baseball players take in MLB draft and 13 commitments in 2017 class

Friday, July 7, 2017 0 Comments

FIU has size baseball players take in MLB draft and 13 commitments in 2017 class

Florida International University catcher J.C. Escarra led a class of Panthers’ players who were taken in the 2017 MLB draft when the Baltimore Orioles took the Mater Academy graduate in the 15th round. 

With six selections in the 2017 MLB Draft, FIU had the most players taken from Conference USA teams. In addition, FIU had 13 players from its No. 1-ranked 2017 signing class taken in the draft.
The six Panthers drafted tied for the second most FIU players drafted in a single season in the program's 45-year history. 

“The players have worked extremely hard to play professional baseball,” FIU head coach Mervyl Melendez said. ”And the relationships we have built with the professional scouting community are very strong. That’s a good combination for our players to have the chance to play professional baseball.”

FIU, which had two more drafted players than Southern Miss and Charlotte to lead C-USA, including Escarra, catcher Zack Soria who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and pitcher Dominic LoBrutto, who went to the Boston Red Sox.

Shortstop Irving Lopez was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 19th round.
Several relief pitchers made up the other two FIU draftees. Right-hander Franklin Van Gurp, who was a catcher last year, was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the 25th round. The Colorado Rockies, the Giants' National League West rival, took senior right-hander Michael Agis in the 36th round.

A large group of FIU baseball commentments were also taken in the MLB draft.
“It's kind of bittersweet that you recruited talented players but at the same token you are going to lose some of them to the draft,” Melendez said. “We're hoping that we get five or six to come to FIU to better their stock and their position in the draft. In three years they will be in much better shape.”

Outfielder Heliot Ramos was a first round choice of the Giants. Catcher MJ Melendez, FIU coach Mervyl's son, went to the Kansas City Royals in the second round on Day 1 of the draft.
Outfielder Johnathan Rodriguez was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the third round and right-hander Wilberto Rivera was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round.
Shortstop Justin Connell went to the Washington Nationals in the 11th round. Left-hander Jerryell Rivera Gonzalez (Los Angeles Angels) and outfielder Gabriel Rodriguez (Minnesota Twins) both also were drafted in the 11th round.

Shortstop Abdiel Layer was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the13th round. A few rounds later a couple of signed FIU pitchers were drafted. Right-hander Christian Santana also went to the Brewers in the 15th round. Left-hander Logan Allen was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the 16th round.

In the 28th round, the Red Sox took outfielder Oraj Anu and one round later the Houston Astros drafted outfielder Andres Santana.

The final FIU signee drafted was catcher Jose Garcia taken by the Red Sox  in the 38th round.

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