The 2018 MLB draft has come and gone and four Indiana Hoosiers were selected.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jonathan Stiever was the highest Hoosier selected, going in the fifth round to the Chicago White Sox.
He was the only Hoosier taken on day two of the draft and on day three, a trio of Hoosiers heard their names called.
The Philadelphia Phillies took junior third baseman Luke Miller in the 22nd round. Senior outfielder Logan Sowers was picked up by the Chicago White Sox in the 28thround and junior left-handed pitcher Tim Herrin was drafted in the 29thround by the Cleveland Indians.
With the 138th pick of the 2018 #MLBDraft, the @WhiteSox select @IndianaBase RHP Jonathan Stiever, ranked No. 88 on @MLBPipeline's Top 200 Draft Prospects list: https://t.co/I4XB50yP67 pic.twitter.com/ewbxSzU9kY
— MLB Draft (@MLBDraft) June 5, 2018
Stiever (5thRound, Pick 138) is the highest Hoosier selected in the MLB draft since the Chicago Cubs selected Kyle Schwarber (Round 1, Pick 4) in 2014. He is also just the sixth pitcher in program history to be drafted in the top five rounds and first since Aaron Slegers (5thRound, Minnesota Twins).
This is the first time Stiever has been drafted in his career as he led the Big Ten in strikeouts with 97, and strikeouts looking with 37, this season in 100.1 innings. His fastball consistently sits in the low 90s, but reached 97 mph in a start against Illinois on April 27.
TheHoosierNetwork.com spoke to D1baseball.com’s Aaron Fitt after Stiever’s outing against Illinois on April 27. Fitt said he projects Stiever as a back end bullpen arm in the majors with a heavy fastball and sharp breaking ball.
It is likely that Stiever will sign with the White Sox with the bonus slot being $386,000. If this is the case, Indiana will have to find a new Friday night starter for next season to lead the rotation.
Indiana Baseball starting pitcher @JonathanStiever leads the Big Ten in strikeouts with 66. Why? Because he pounds the strike zone.
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) April 27, 2018
Miller (22ndRound, Pick 647) was selected for the second time in his amateur career. After being taken in the 31stround by the Minnesota Twins last year, the junior third baseman improved nine rounds in 2018.
He hit .309 with 13 home runs, 34 RBI’s in 47 games this season for Indiana. Miller missed 12 games in April with a foot injury, but made his presence in the lineup felt once again by hitting 6 home runs and driving in 15 in 21 games to end the season.
The junior Miller can return for his senior season if he chooses and see if he can increase his draft stock once again. But, with Miller turning 22-year-old this July, he may forego his senior year and get into the Phillies system as early as possible.
Indiana takes the lead!
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) June 4, 2018
Sowers (28thRound, Pick 828) was also drafted for the second time in his amateur career. He was a 31stround pick out of high school by the San Diego Padres, but decided to spend four years at Indiana instead.
In his career, Sowers hit .281 with 37 home runs and 137 RBI’s in 221 games played. He also started every single game he played in an Indiana uniform.
Sowers will have to sign with the White Sox since he has exhausted his eligibility at Indiana.
The White Sox have now drafted three Hoosiers over the last two seasons with Stiever and Sowers this year and former IU outfielder Craig Dedelow drafted in the 9thround in 2017.
Indiana Baseball is tearing the cover off the ball this afternoon on senior day led by senior outfielder @LoganSowers51 with 4 hits, 2 home runs and 5 RBI's.
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) May 19, 2018
Herrin (Round 29, Pick 883) was a pleasant surprise to hear his name called. The junior left-hander had a breakout season for Indiana and moved into the starting rotation mid-way through the season.
In 17 appearances and 10 starts, Herrin pitched to a 3.22 ERA in 64.1 innings with 39 strikeouts in 2018. Also, opponents only hit .234 against him this season.
Herrin had never been drafted before but has tremendous upside as a lefty. If he decides to return for his senior year at Indiana, he’ll become a force in the weekend rotation and improve his draft stock as well.
"I was able to pitch off my fastball today … and then comeback with my slider with a different movement."
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) April 18, 2018