Now that the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft has come and gone, it is time to start thinking about how the 2010 Indiana baseball Hoosiers will be impacted by this week's draft selections. Eric Arnett, Evan Crawford, and Kipp Schutz have already signed, and barring unexpected contractual differences, Josh Phegley and Matt Bashore will likely soon follow suit. I think most of us saw this coming, but at the same time, it is also sad to see them go. They were all major contributors to this year's Hoosier squad, and there is no way the team would have experienced the success they did down the wire without these guys.
All that being said, Joey O'Gara and Jake Dunning are the real question marks for next year's Hoosier squad. Both were taken on Thursday in the draft's waning rounds, and the question is "should they stay or should they go?" Here are my arguments as to why they should come back to Bloomington and stay at IU for one more year. Feel free to present your own arguments in the comments section below.
O'Gara - O'Gara will probably step into the Saturday starter role for the 2010 Hoosiers, something that will undoubtedly appeal to scouts and allow him to further showcase his talents on a larger stage on a more consistent basis. One of the big reasons why this move makes sense is that he is a redshirt sophomore and will still have signing leverage next year as a redshirt junior. Perhaps more importantly, should he stay, O'Gara will be on campus for a fourth year of college, meaning he could potentially get an Indiana University diploma before beginning his professional baseball journey.
Dunning - Drafted as a pitcher, Dunning is really lacking in the experience category on the mound, and given that IU will have some big shoes to fill at the position next season, there will likely be a lot of innings to be had by him. More experience could mean more attention and ultimately a larger signing bonus. With Cody Webber, Ethan Wilson, Vince Gonzalez, Tyler Rogers, Dylan Swift, and newcomers Micah Johnson, Michael Basil, Jerry Kleman all vying for infield spots, it may be a chance for IU to use Dunning more as a pitcher, thus allowing him to more fully develop on the mound. If he can regularly flash a secondary pitch next year, his arm strength could allow him to garner much more attention and create more signing leverage in the process.
Regardless of how things ultimately shake out with all the Hoosiers drafted this year, I wish everyone well in their professional baseball pursuits. Go Hoosiers!