June 4, 2012

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Five University of Miami signees heard their names called on Day One of Major League Baseball’s Entry 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 former Mater Academy star has projectable power at the plate, though for now he’s 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. 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 Entry Draft will resume Tuesday afternoon with second round, set to commence at 12 noon live on MLB Network.