White Sox select Stiever in 5th round of MLB Draft

Professional scouts flocked to Indiana games this spring, particularly for Jonathan Stiever’s Friday outings.

With each pitch Stiever tossed, the scouts would raise their arms, point their radar guns at the mound and check the reading.

It seems they liked what they saw.

Stiever was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the fifth round with the No. 138 overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday afternoon, becoming only the sixth pitcher in IU history to be drafted in the top five rounds.

“I got a call a couple picks before saying they were probably going to select me at that time,” Stiever said. “Then it just happened. It was kind of overwhelming. It was just really exciting to have that experience. Overall, I’m just pretty thrilled about it.”

Stiever is Indiana’s highest draft pick since the Chicago Cubs took Kyle Schwarber with the fourth overall pick in 2014. He’s the 91st all-time Hoosier draft selection and just the 16th overall IU player to be picked in the top five rounds.

The last Indiana pitcher to be drafted so high was Aaron Slegers, who went to the Minnesota Twins in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

Generally speaking, the fifth round was where Stiever said he expected to go. The White Sox were among the many teams that tracked his starts this spring, expressing their interest in selecting the right-hander leading into the draft.

It’s likely that Stiever, a junior, will sign with Chicago. The bonus slot value for the No. 138 pick is $386,000.

“The past couple days, (team interest) has been a little bit more prevalent, with which teams are talking to you and the White Sox were one of them,” Stiever said. “Their guy had seen me play a bit up to that point, so I knew they had been interested and it just worked out from there.”

Stiever led the Big Ten with 97 strikeouts — 37 of which were looking — and ranked second with 100 1/3 innings pitched. His 12-strikeout performance on March 10 vs. Pacific tied for the Big Ten’s season high.

Stiever regularly sat in the low 90s with his fastball, topping out at 97 miles per hour in his April 27 outing against Illinois.

Ten MLB scouts attended that contest at Bart Kaufman Field.

The draft continues Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40.

3 comments

  1. IU is producing quality players for MLB! Keep us posted during the summer on how and where all of the IU players are doing.

  2. The Vet from West Lafayette came to wave his IU flag today! Wonder how much he waves it on the Purdue blogs as ‘BeatIndiana’? Have your pet spayed or neutered….And while we’re speaking of your Purdue date….

  3. Aside from Schwarber, what other IU players are in the major leagues? I know we have a few pitchers playing in the minors, but I’m not aware of any other Hoosiers on a Major League roster.

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