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Ohio State’s 2016 draft class is off to a great start in pro baseball

Most of the draftees are off to a great start.

After leading the Ohio State baseball program to a Big Ten tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament, six Buckeyes had their names called in June's Major League Baseball draft. Those players have just recently completed their first stints in the minor leagues, with varying degrees of success.

Outfielder Ronnie Dawson was a second-round pick of the Houston Astros, No. 61 overall, after an All-American junior season in scarlet and gray. In 70 games for the Tri-City ValleyCats of the short-season Single-A New York-Penn League, the Grove City native slashed .225/.351/.373, hitting 13 doubles and seven home runs, driving in 36 runs, and stealing a dozen bases. Dawson showed great improvement after a horrendous start, raising his batting average nearly 50 points and his on-base and slugging percentages nearly 30 points in his final 40 games, and is currently part of the Fall Instructional League for the Astros in Arizona.

Behind Dawson on the Ohio State draft board was fellow junior outfielder Troy Montgomery, who went in the eighth round to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Montgomery earned a promotion from rookie ball to full-season Single-A after posting a .341/.453/.557 slash line for the Orem Owlz. With the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League, his numbers fell against tougher competition, as he slashed .261/.340/.401 in 38 games. For the year, Montgomery finished with 10 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 30 RBIs, and 13 steals, and is also in Arizona for Fall Instructional League on the Angels roster.

In the 19th round, Jacob Bosiokovic was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the 560th overall pick, and after being assigned to the Boise Hawks of the short-season Single-A Northwest League, he handled himself well. Bosiokovic appeared in 68 games, slashing .274/.380/.419 with 20 doubles, four home runs, 27 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases, and was named to NWL's midseason and postseason all-star teams. He's currently in Arizona as part of the Rockies' Fall Instructional League program.

Left-handed reliever Michael Horejsei was next off the board, going to the Chicago White Sox in the 21st round with the 626th pick. After a tremendous start with the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer Rookie League in which he did not allow a run in his first eight appearances, Horejsei was promoted to the Class-A Kannapolis Intimidators. The Cleveland St. Ignatius product continued his success there, posting a 1.32 ERA, .194 batting average against, and 1.02 WHIP in 15 appearances, striking out 30 and walking just nine, and earned a trip to Arizona on the White Sox Fall Instructional League roster.

Following Horejsei in 23rd round was 2016 co-captain Nick Sergakis, who was taken with the 700th pick by the New York Mets. Playing for the short-season Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, Sergakis continued to play his scrappy brand of ball, slashing .252/.353/.364 with 10 doubles, two homers, 15 RBIs, and 11 steals in 38 games played, and played solid defense at both second and third, committing just five errors in 166 total chances.

The last of the six Ohio State players drafted in 2016 was standout starting pitcher Tanner Tully, who was selected in the 26th round by the Cleveland Indians with the 782nd pick. Tully, much like Horejsei, enjoyed a good deal of success in his first taste of pro ball. Pitching for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League, the lefty started seven games and appeared in an additional six out of the bullpen, posting a 4-1 record with a 1.17 ERA. Tully held opposing hitters to a .192 batting average and sported 0.89 WHIP in 46 innings, striking out 26 and walking a mere nine. The Indiana native is now in Arizona as part of Cleveland Fall Instructional League.