Handful of Hoosiers waiting on MLB draft #iubase

Chris Lemonis will spend the next two days peeking at live streams, monitoring Twitter and checking in on player trackers to find where his Hoosiers may fall in this week’s MLB Amateur Draft.

The Indiana coach could see a handful of players, as well as an incoming recruit or two, taken in the draft, which runs through Wednesday.

“The thing about the pro draft is it’s big for our kids,” Lemonis told The Herald-Times. “Kids come to Indiana because they want to play professionally. We have 35 guys in our clubhouse and all 35 guys want to play professional baseball. It’s the dream, so we want that in our program. We want a big professional baseball influence. It means we’re signing the right kids.”

Entering this year’s draft, Indiana has seen seven players from its roster selected since 2013. That doesn’t include freshmen Logan Sowers (31st round) and Larry Crisler (35th round) and senior Ryan Halstead (36th round) who were selected out of high school before they matriculated to IU. Halstead was also drafted in the 26th round after his junior year in 2013. Nor does the list of seven include Josh Ockimey, a first baseman in last year’s recruiting class who was taken in the fifth round and signed to play with the Boston Red Sox instead of attending IU.

This year, Halstead, junior Scott Effross, junior Kyle Hart, senior Scott Donley, senior Luke Harrison and junior Nick Ramos are all possibilities, as is junior Caleb Baragar and senior Casey Rodrigue. Incoming junior college transfer Alex Krupa, an outfielder from Iowa Western, and Cowan senior outfielder Luke Miller could also see their names called. Whether any of the underclassmen actually sign is a different matter.

Rounds three through 10 will be held today, followed by rounds 11-40 on Wednesday. No one from IU was picked during the first and compensatory rounds on Monday.

Indiana doesn’t have anyone included on Baseball America’s list of the top 500 prospects, but Effross seems to have a good shot at getting picked in the middle rounds. After earning a spot in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game last summer, Effross pitched to a 2.35 ERA as a junior this season, while striking out 51 batters in 61 1/3 innings and posting a 0.96 WHIP. He could go today or early Wednesday.

Hart boosted his draft stock with his success down the stretch, but it’s unclear where he might go or what kind of signing bonus he might receive coming off Tommy John surgery in 2014. As a veteran reliever, Halstead could also be an intriguing pick either late today or early Wednesday, as could Kelzer, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round in 2014 but did not sign.

Without discussing specific players, Lemonis said he should have a good idea of which players could leave and which are expected to stay within the next week and a half.

From the time a young high school player emerges as a prospect at the college or professional level, recruiting becomes a balancing act for major conference coaches like Lemonis. There’s a line to walk between identifying kids who could be early-round draft talent and those who might be more likely to play three or four years in school.

“At this level, we’ve got draft picks on the way coming in and we’ve got draft picks on the way going out,” Lemonis said. “My roster could change 30, 40, 50 percent here in the next week depending on what happens today and tomorrow.”