Monday night was a glorious night for four players with Broward County ties.
Jonathan India of Coral Springs, Triston Casas of Plantation American Heritage, Xavier Edwards of North Broward Prep and Griffin Conine of Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest were all selected in Day One of the MLB Draft.
India, a third baseman for the Florida Gators, was picked fifth, by the Cincinnati Reds. The SEC Player of the Year is slotted to receive a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $5.9 million.
After graduating from Delray American Heritage, India was drafted in the 26th round by the Milwaukee Brewers, who offered $1.1 million. India, who wanted no less than $1.85 million, stood his ground, went to UF for three years and vastly improved his draft status … and his bank account.
Casas, a 6-4, 240-pounder with big-time power and a power arm capable of firing 94-mph fastballs, was drafted 26th, by the Boston Red Sox, and he is slotted to receive $2.5 million.
While he is likely headed for a career at first base, he also has experience at third. Still, it’s his bat that intrigues scouts as he hit seven homers in 28 games this year.
After India and Casas were drafted in the traditional first round comprised of 30 picks, Edwards went No. 38 overall (Competitive Balance Round A), to the San Diego Padres.
Edwards is a switch-hitting shortstop with great hands. A leadoff man, he hit .406, stole 24 bases, posted a .532 on-base percentage and led Broward with 43 runs scored.
Casas and Edwards — who have been travel-ball teammates — were two of the six prospects who were at the MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey as invited guests.
“This is by the best day of my life,” Casas said on the broadcast.
Edwards, a 5-10, 165-pounder who will decide between his college scholarship to Vanderbilt and a signing bonus of just less than $1.9 million, said getting drafted was a dream come true and “a first step in the right direction.”
Conine, the son of former Marlins star Jeff Conine, was selected 52nd overall, by the Toronto Blue Jays. A power-hitting outfielder with a strong arm who hits from the left side, Griffin Conine has led Duke to a super regional for the first time in school history.
A 6-1, 210-pounder, Conine is a two-time All-ACC selection. This year, he has a team-high 18 homers as well as 14 doubles and 52 RBI.
As for the rest of the draft, it continues Tuesday and concludes Wednesday.
There were no players from the University of Miami or FIU selected on Monday. However, there were several collegians from Florida schools drafted on Monday.
Three Florida Gators were drafted: India as well as pitcher Brady Singer (No. 18 by the Kansas City Royals); and pitcher Jackson Kowar (No. 33, also by the Royals).
Other players from Florida colleges who were drafted on Monday were Stetson pitcher Logan Gilbert (14th by Seattle); pitcher Shane McClanahan (31st, by the Tampa Bay Rays); and Florida Atlantic shortstop Tyler Frank (No 56, Rays).
Among the players who hope to get drafted Tuesday or Wednesday are four local catchers: Gulliver Prep’s Adrian Del Castillo, Nova Southeastern University’s Jake Anchia and the St. Thomas University duo of Elih Marrero and Nelson Mompierre.
Other local players who could get drafted this week:
▪ Calvary Christian shortstop Raynel Delgado, a switch-hitter from Miami Lakes, has committed to FIU. He should go in the top three rounds.
▪ Rutgers outfielder Jawuan Harris, who is from St. Thomas Aquinas, is an outstanding athlete who also plays college football. He could get drafted between rounds three and 10.
▪ Doral Academy shortstop Lency Delgado (no relation to Raynel) has committed to FIU and could go in the top three rounds. Along with Del Castillo, he has been the best prep hitter in Miami this year.
▪ American Heritage’s Cory Acton, a lefty hitter who can play third or second base, has committed to Florida. He had perhaps the best offensive season of anyone in Broward, but he is likely headed to Florida if he doesn’t get drafted in the first round.
▪ Calvary Christian right-hander Christian Scott may similarly play for the Gators if he doesn’t get drafted in the first rounds. The 6-4, 175-pounder has terrific potential.
▪ Duke shortstop Zack Kone, a 6-3, 200-pounder from Pine Crest, hit .279 at Duke and could go in the top five rounds.
▪ The Miami Hurricanes have four prospects who should go in the top 20 rounds: right-handers Frankie Bartow and Andrew Cabezas, corner outfielder Danny Reyes and corner infielder/outfielder Romy Gonzalez.
Three other UM recruits are also expected to be drafted in the first 10 rounds: outfielder Brennan Davis, left-hander Jonathan Gates and right-hander Slade Cecconi.
▪ FIU second baseman Eddie Silva, who recently hit his 15th homer of the season to lead Conference USA, has likely moved up draft boards and should be drafted in the top 20 rounds.
Three other FIU players are in the same range: right-handers Andres Nunez and Chandler Raiden and outfielder Lorenzo Hampton.
FIU recruit Kevin Vargas, a shortstop from Puerto Rico, could go in the top 10 rounds.
▪ Barry University senior outfielder Jonathan Quintana could get drafted by the 20th round. He hit .342 this season with 11 doubles, two triples, 12 homers and a 1034 OPS.
▪ Besides Anchia, NSU has top-20-round right-hander prospects Devin Conn, Brady Acker and Joe Strzelecki.
▪ Miami Dade College has several prospects, including center fielder Brian Rey, who has committed to North Carolina State; and right-hander Yusniel Padron, a Cuban native who throws 93 mph. Both could be drafted between rounds six and 10.
Other MDC draft prospects include center fielder Gabriel Rodriguez; right-hander Nelson Alvarez, a University of South Florida recruit; left-hander Garrett Bye, who has committed to the University of Alabama; and shortstops Joshua Rivera and Abdiel Layer-Lugo.
▪ Aside from Marrero and Mompierre, St. Thomas has prospects such as second baseman Jackie
Urbaez and left-hander Ernie Valdes.