Local draft picks: Leasher to Padres, Jaskie to Mariners

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Oliver Jaskie

A trio of left-handed pitchers were among the first players with Michigan ties taken in the Major League Baseball Draft.

On Tuesday, Day 2 of the draft, Morehead State's Aaron Leasher, from Mount Pleasant High School, was selected in the sixth round by the San Diego Padres.

Fifteen picks later in the round, Michigan's Oliver Jaskie was drafted by the Seattle Mariners.

Leasher, 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, was the No. 1 starter for Morehead State in Kentucky, pitching in 15 games and compiling 4.19 ERA, but a 9-3 record. He struck out 105 while walking 32 in 92.1 innings.

Out of Mount Pleasant, he was named the player of the year, as a senior, by two local newspapers, and was first-team all-state. Slot value for his pick is $278,500.

Jaskie, 6-4 and 215 pounds and considered one of the top two draft prospects in the state, along with Michigan State left-hander Alex Troop, helped lead the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament.

Troop went in the ninth round to the Washington Nationals.

Jaskie, a native of Ada in West Michigan, made 16 starts and limited opponents to a .234 batting average while compiling a 3.82 ERA. He struck out 119 to match the program's single-season record, en route to first-team All-Big Ten honors. Slot value for his pick is $245,600.

Michigan has had at least one player drafted in each of coach Erik Bakich's five seasons, and there are several more to come over the next two days.

Oakland's Zach Sterry, a 5-11, 226-pound first baseman, was taken in the eighth round by the Boston Red Sox, for a slot value of $150,900. He could get less, though, being a senior out of options. Sterry is the second-highest draft pick in the program's history, behind right-hander Matt McClellan, who was taken in the seventh round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997.

Sterry, from Ohio, was a second-team All-Horizon League selection after batting .346 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs, a triple and 44 RBIs.

Troop, 6-5 and 210 pounds from Chicagoland, was the top local prospect in the most-recent Baseball America rankings, but slipped a bit, to the delight of the Nationals. Slot value for his pick is $138,000. After missing most of his sophomore season with a fractured left wrist, he was quite fresh as a junior, going 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA, while striking out 73 in 75.2 innings.

He's a two-way star who batted .321 with three homers and 12 RBIs while playing a plus first base on his non-pitching days. Troop is expected to exclusively pitch at the professional level, and he said he's perfectly fine with that.

This draft marks the first time since 2012 that the state of Michigan hasn't had a player selected in the first five rounds.


6th round, Padres: Aaron Leasher, LHP, 6-3/190, Morehead State (Mount Pleasant)

6th round, Mariners: Oliver Jaskie, LHP, 6-4/215, Michigan (Ada)

8th round, Red Sox: Zach Sterry, 1B, 5-11/226, Oakland

9th round, Nationals: Alex Troop, LHP, 6-5/210, Michigan State

The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40.