The second day of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft saw a run on Hoosier pitchers. Finally, on Day 3, a couple of Indiana bats came off the board.
The Seattle Mariners selected infielder Cole Barr in Tuesday’s 15th round and the New York Yankees picked outfielder Grant Richardson in the 17th round, giving IU’s program six draft selections in total.
The Mariners really, really seem to like Barr. The club also picked the right-handed slugger in the 37th round of the 2019 draft, though Barr obviously chose to return to school. Over 141 career games for Indiana, Barr smashed 27 home runs and drove in 99 runs while compiling a .269 average. As a repeat junior in 2021, Barr hit eight homers and totaled 18 extra-base hits while batting .292 on the year.
Richardson, meanwhile, earned All-Big Ten first team honors this past spring, leading the Hoosiers with a .320 average and a team-best 55 hits. He drove in 33 runs while sliding in safely for 11 steals in 13 attempts. The Yankees are pretty familiar with IU’s baseball program, having signed former Hoosier Elijah Dunham to an undrafted free agent deal last summer. Former IU assistant Casey Dykes is also the hitting coach for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
IU’s six draft selections were the most of any Big Ten program. Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State each had three players picked.
Meanwhile, after seeing a pair of his signees get selected — Colson Montgomery (first round, White Sox), T.J. White (fifth round, Nationals) — IU coach Jeff Mercer was surely happy to know that local product Luke Hayden, a 6-foot-1 right-hander out of Edgewood High School, will be joining the Hoosiers as planned. Considered by Perfect Game as the No. 33 Class of 2021 right-hander in the country, Hayden went undrafted. According to Jim Gordillo of the Bloomington Herald-Times, Hayden told teams it was going to take a whole lot of dough to keep him away from Bart Kaufman Field.
More from Gordillo:
The plan is to invest 3 years at IU getting stronger, more flexible, develop a 4th pitch, raise his fastball to 100 mph and raise his draft stock, seeing that as a better alternative to bouncing around on buses in the minors for the same duration.— Jim Gordillo (@JimGordillo) July 13, 2021
In other baseball news, the Hoosiers also began the process of replenishing their pitching staff on Tuesday. Decatur Central product Bradley Brehmer announced on Twitter that he is transferring to IU from Wright State — Mercer’s former program. The 6-foot-6 right-hander struck out 85 batters in 76.2 innings, starting the season with four innings of one-run ball against Vanderbilt. Brehmer was a 23rd round pick of the Baltimore Orioles coming out of high school in 2018.