Former American Heritage star Jonathan India picked fifth in MLB draft


The Cincinnati Reds selected former American Heritage star Jonathan India with the fifth pick in the MLB Draft on Monday night, but when his name was called, the former Stallion was still playing for the Florida Gators in a NCAA Regionals game that had been delayed because of rain.

India is the second Palm Beach County player to be selected in the top 10 in two years. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Palm Beach Gardens alumnus Pavin Smith with the seventh pick of the draft last year.

The slot value of the pick is $$5,946,400. India holds leverage, as he can return to school for his senior year if the offer doesn’t match what he would like.

India is the 10th American Heritage player to be selected in the MLB Draft, according to Baseball Reference’s database and Palm Beach Post archives. Only one of those players, Antoan Richardson, has made it to the majors.

The Gators third baseman has had a breakout junior year, leading Florida with a .364 batting average with 18 home runs.

“I definitely saw (Division I),” American Heritage high school coach Carm Mazza said. “Did I feel that, if he was D-1, would he probably get a pro opportunity? Yeah. To see him this year … just when he would step in the box, you knew you were looking at a different animal.”

Rays take Tyler Frank: India’s former teammate at American Heritage, Tyler Frank, was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the second round with the 56th overall pick.

When he was selected, Frank, a standout Florida Atlantic shortstop, was playing against India in the NCAA Regionals.

Frank was hitting .307 with 13 home runs entering Monday’s games against Florida.

“He was always a little undersized in high school, so he just didn’t want to be defeated,” Mazza told the Post. “You weren’t going to outwork him, you weren’t going to out-hustle him. … He just wants to be great, and he just doesn’t stop working.”

The No. 56 pick has a slot value of $1,228,000.

Marlins pick Florida native: The Miami Marlins stayed in Florida for their first draft pick Monday night.

The Marlins picked Connor Scott, a high school outfielder from Tampa-Plant, with the 13th overall selection.

“The complete package, in our eyes,” said Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations. “6-foot-4, athletic, a speed-power package that we think will impact the game on both sides of the ball.

It was the fifth consecutive year the Marlins used their first-round pick on a high school player. None of those players have made it onto a major league roster as of yet.

Scott, the first outfielder selected in the first round by the Marlins since Christian Yelich in 2010, is also the first high school player taken from a Tampa high school since the Marlins drafted Jose Fernandez in 2011 out of Alonso High.

Scott hit .526 with five home runs in 20 games this season. Overall, he hit .424 during his high school career. He also was 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA this season and has a fastball that has been clocked at 93 mph.

The value of the 13th pick was slotted at $4,038,200.

The Miami Herald contributed to this story.



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