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June 3, 2012Stay connected to the Canes. Sign-up for CaneSport.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone and register with CaneSport on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! Don't miss the all-new digital CANESPORT MAGAZINE - - covering every game inside and out.
Hurricane baseball coach Jim Morris has bemoaned the fact that UM is consistently losing its top recruits to Major League Baseball.
The highest drafted player Morris has ever retained at Miami was Jemile Weeks, who went in the eighth round that year.
And the Canes again lost plenty of talent this year.
Five Usignees heard their names called on Day One of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft Monday night, including the number one overall pick in shortstop Carlos Correa (Gurabo, Puerto Rico).
Joining Correa in the first rounds of the draft were Hialeah, Fla. native Albert Almora (Chicago Cubs, No. 6 overall) Southwest Ranches, Fla. native Nick Travieso (Cincinatti Reds, No. 14 overall), Tampa, Fla. native Keon Barnum (Chicago White Sox, No. 48 overall) and Orlando, Fla. native Walker Weickel (San Diego Padres, No. 55 overall).
Correa, who became the highest-drafted player in Puerto Rican baseball history, was projected by many to be a surefire top-10 draft pick. The Houston Astros surprised many when they selected Correa, considered among the draft's premier all-around talents, with the first overall choice. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder boasts a stellar arm and was rated among the premier defensive players in the draft. At the plate, as described by analysts at Baseball America, Correa "shows excellent balance and rhythm, as well as patience, to go along with stellar bat speed and natural loft."
Five selections later, the Chicago Cubs made Albert Almora the second Miami signee off the draft board. The toolsy outfielder already possesses what many scouts call "major league-ready defense," and is regarded for his instincts on the basepaths and in the outfield. The Mater Academy star has projectable power at the plate, though he's considered a line-drive hitter with tremendous bat speed with the ability to spray the ball to all fields.
Flamethrower Nick Travieso of nearby Archbishop McCarthy High School became Miami's third selection of the night when the Cincinatti Reds picked the Hurricanes' signee at No. 14 overall. Travieso, whose fastball has been clocked as high as 97 miles per hour, has a devastating slider to go along with a developing change-up. Travieso's fastball sits between 90 and 95 miles per hour, while his slider hovers in the low 80's.
Two more signees were selected with compensatory picks, otherwise known as "sandwich round" selections. The Chicago White Sox took Keon Barnum (King High School), highly regarded for his powerful bat and solid arm strength, with their second pick of the night at No. 48 overall. Walker Weickel (Olympia High School), a 6-foot-6 pitcher with a 90-92 mile-per-hour fastball and an impressive 12-to-6 curveball, was the fifth and final Hurricane selected, chosen by the San Diego Padres at pick No. 55.
The 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft will resume Tuesday afternoon with second round, set to commence at noon live on MLB Network.
Here are the players ranked in Baseball America's "Top-500" (regardless of age/position/year in school) that are UM signees:
SS Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy; Santa Isabel, PR), Ranked No. 6 by Baseball America
CF Albert Almora (Hialeah Mater Academy Charter), Ranked No. 7
SP Walker Weickel (Orlando Olympia), Ranked No. 37
RF Nick Travieso (Ft. Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy), Ranked No. 40
SS Brandon Lopez (Ft. Lauderdale American Heritage), ranked No. 154
1B Keon Barnum (Tampa King), ranked No. 155
SS Adrian Marin (Miami Gulliver Prep), ranked No. 192
SP Myles Smith (Miami-Dade), ranked No. 358
It is anticipated that Almora and Correa will go highly and potentially in the top 10 picks. Correa is expected to become the highest drafted player ever from Puerto Rico.
Travieso and Weickel are considered borderline first round picks as well.
A silver lining? It appears UM is in good shape to keep David Thompson, a quarterback signee who is also a baseball star and would play both sports at Miami.
His father texted CaneSport on Monday morning that "While there is a lot of interest from MLB teams, David continues to focus on being a student athlete at UM."
Here are the other UM signees that are unranked:
SP Shane Crouse (Winter Garden West Orange)
CF Ricky Eusebio (Miami Gulliver Prep)
C Roger Gonzalez (Miami Florida Christian)
SP Frank Grandinette (Orlando Boone)
SS Edgar Michelangeli (Miami Florida Christian)
3B Eric Neitzel (Miami Gulliver Prep)
LF Thomas Pannone (Warwick, RI; Bishop Hendricken
RP Ivan Pelaez (Miami Gulliver Prep)
3B Peter Rivera (West Palm Beach Wellington)
RP Thomas Woodrey (Ft. Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons)