Looking at which Hawkeyes could go in the 2017 MLB Draft

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central
Iowa Hawkeyes first baseman Jake Adams (35) singles against the Texas A&M Aggies Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Darryl and Lori Schroeder Park in Houston.

IOWA CITY, Ia. — The MLB Draft begins Monday and runs through Wednesday, churning out 40 rounds of baseball talent from all across the country. The first two rounds are Monday, 3-10 on Tuesday and 11-40 on Wednesday.

Here’s a quick look at the Hawkeyes who could be drafted this week.

Jake Adams

Jake Adams fist pumps against the Texas A&M Aggies, Saturday, June 3, 2017, at Darryl and Lori Schroeder Park in Houston.

Iowa junior busted onto the scene in his first season of Division I college baseball, slugging a program- and conference-best 29 homers in 61 games. Adams took over the NCAA lead for good with two monster blasts in the Houston Regional, further cementing this year’s dominance on college baseball’s biggest stage. One would think Adams’ draft stock won’t be any higher than it is right now, which could potentially push the 6-foot-2, 250-pound first baseman into the top 10 rounds.

Nick Gallagher

Iowa's Nick Gallagher delivers a pitch during the Hawkeyes' game against Purdue at Duane Banks Field on Friday, March 24, 2017.

The junior right-hander was Iowa’s most reliable arm from start to finish, filling the Hawkeyes' Friday role with much success. Gallagher went 8-2 with a 3.48 ERA over 95⅔ innings and is ranked 339th in Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects, making him a candidate — along with Adams — to be the first Hawkeye off the board. Gallagher’s velocity and precision wasn’t quite as strong down the stretch — he yielded 17 earned runs over his final 18⅓ innings — but his overall body of work in 2017 could make him a late Day 2, early Day 3 selection.

Mason McCoy

Iowa's Mason McCoy waits at third base during the Hawkeyes' game against Purdue at Duane Banks Field on Friday, March 24, 2017.

The 2016 draft was a disappointment for Iowa’s shortstop, who went undrafted despite hopes of at least being a Day 3 pick. But McCoy bounced back strongly in 2017, hitting .328 with 55 runs scored and 18 doubles en route to second-team All-Big Ten honors. The 6-foot senior also sliced his strikeout percentage down from 21.5 percent (48 in 233 at-bats) in 2016 to 9.9 percent (25 in 253 at-bats) this season, something McCoy said he was told he needed to work on heading into his final collegiate campaign. Baseball America lists McCoy as the state’s sixth-highest draft prospect, more evidence that this year should go better than last.

“The biggest thing (with the draft) is anything can happen,” McCoy said before the Houston Regional. “The draft is a mysterious thing, and even the guys I talked to this year — I’ve sat down with scouts and they’ve told me, ‘we don’t know what happened (last year)’. There’s nothing they can do about it. It’s just a mysterious thing, and it works in weird ways.”

Ryan Erickson

Iowa Hawkeyes pitcher Ryan Erickson (41) delivers the ball to the plate against the Houston Cougars Friday, June 2, 2017 at Darryl and Lori Schroeder Park in Houston. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

A bullpen piece through the season’s first month, Erickson was Iowa’s second-most reliable starter behind Gallagher. The redshirt senior southpaw produced a 3.00 ERA while making 12 starts and was big for the Hawkeyes during their late-season push. Erickson surrendered just two earned runs over 12⅔ postseason innings in starts against Nebraska and Texas A&M. Although he won’t have any financial leverage as a college senior, Erickson has already gained some draft traction and could be a Day 3 pick before the week is over.

Members of Iowa’s 2017 class:

  • Jack Dreyer, LHP, Johnston
  • Ben Probst, RHP, Dowling Catholic

Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.