Inch by inch, the Louisville Baseball program is quickly approaching the century mark of 100 draftees under the tutelage of Dan McDonnell. With four selections on Monday, 99 players have now been drafted since he took over in 2007.
First up on Monday was Jared Poland, who was selected in the 6th round, 172nd overall, by the Miami Marlins. Poland turned out to be the most reliable arm for the Cardinals this season, earning the role as the Friday night starter.
He earned All-ACC Second Team honors after going 5-5 with a 3.46, striking out 103 batters in 83.1 innings. Poland is a workhorse on the mound that has the ability to go deep into games, getting better in the later innings. His slot value is $306,200.
Just four picks later, Michael Prosecky heard his name called as he was selected by the Colorado Rockies at 176th overall, with a slot value of $296,100. Along with Poland, Prosecky was also named to the All-ACC Second Team.
In his first two seasons with Louisville, he spent time coming out the bullpen and as a starter, trying to find out what his role would be for the Cardinals. Heading into his junior season, he approached the coaching staff, informing him that he wanted to assume the closer role. And he did just that.
Prosecky tallied 26 appearances, going 2-1 with 11 saves and a 3.38 ERA.
The third selection of the day was Ben Metzinger, a homegrown talent from Trinity HS. He was selected 222nd overall by the Milwaukee Brewers.
It seemed like every time this team needed a big hit, Metzinger delivered. If they needed a big play defensively, he was there, using his senior year to show he is not a one dimensional player.
Starting all 64 games of the season, Metzinger batted .312 with 19 home runs, 69 RBI, and 14 doubles. He is the epitome of a team player, always putting the name on the front of the jersey before the name on the back. Metzinger is slotted to earn $204,300.
In a bit of a surprising pick, Levi Usher was the final selection of the day for Louisville. He was selected in the 10th round, 295th overall, by the Kansas City Royals. Last week, Baseball America released their Top 25 for 2023 and had Louisville as the #4 team, listing Usher as one of the key returning players.
Although he is a senior, he does have eligibility due to the covid year, but this all but solidifies that Usher’s Louisville career is over. His slot value is $153,500.
Usher is a ballhawk in the outfield and regularly makes web gems look like routine plays. He will certainly be missed lurking the outfield in Jim Patterson Stadium.
Usher batted .285 with 7 home runs, 49 RBI, 15 doubles, and 36 stolen bases, which is more than 60 Division I schools totaled as a team.
He was the 2022 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was named a Rawlings Gold Glove winner.
Congrats to all four of these guys as they begin their professional careers. As the team that “reset the standard” for Louisville Baseball, they will certainly be missed.
Not only did the Cardinals have four current players selected, they also had one more commit hear his name called on day two. Logan Wagner (SS), from Aurora, Illinois, was selected in the 6th round, 195th pick, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Wagner recently soared up the draft boards and was an invitee to the MLB Combine. His draft slot value is $253,200. All indications point that he will sign and will not be apart of the 2022 recruiting class.
All of these high school kids have a big decision to make in the coming days, but Louisville appears to be in a good place with the majority of the 2022 class that is ranked #3 overall by Perfect Game.
Cam Collier (first round), Jacob Miller (second round), and Logan Wagner (sixth round) will all sign their professional contracts. Other than that, I believe the rest of the class stays in tact, which is mighty impressive.
Vandy and LSU are the two schools with recruiting classes ranked ahead of Louisville and each of them have seen six commits drafted through 10 rounds. Vandy had five in the first round, while LSU had two.
The draft will conclude on Tuesday, with rounds 11-20, beginning at 2 PM on MLB.com.