BRENDAN RODGERS, SS
Lake Mary H.S. (Florida)
HT: 6-0 WT: 180 B/T: R/R
Born: 8/9/96 Hometown: Longwood, FL
Through 25 games as a senior this season, Brendan was batting .360 with eight home runs, eight doubles, 23 RBI and 19 runs scored. He added a .756 slugging percentage, a .460 on-base percentage and a .958 fielding percentage. He was selected a 2015 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American and Florida All-Region 1st Team. As a junior in 2014, he hit .397 with eight home runs, five doubles, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored. Last summer, Rodgers participated in the Under Armour All-American Game and Perfect Game All-American Classic. The 18-year-old was a 2013-14 Perfect Game Underclass 1st Team selection.
ASHE RUSSELL, RHP
Cathedral H.S. (Indiana)
HT: 6-4 WT: 205 B/T: R/R
Born: 8/28/96 Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Through 41.0 innings pitched this season, Russell was 5-1 with one save and a 1.02 ERA. He collected 67 strikeouts and just nine walks, while allowing six earned runs on 21 hits. Ashe was named 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana, a Perfect Game 1st Team All-American and Central All-Region 1st Team selection. In 2014, he was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the first time after going 8-1 with a 1.23 ERA and 101 strikeouts on the mound, while batting .371 with three home runs, 25 RBI, 21 runs scored and a .629 slugging percentage at the plate. The 18-year-old was a Perfect Game Underclass 3rd Team selection in 2013 and 1st Team selection in 2014.
GARRETT WHITLEY, OF
Niskayuna H.S. (New York)
HT: 6-0 WT: 199 B/T: R/R
Born: 3/13/97 Hometown: Niskayuna, NY
Whitley was named 2015 Gatorade New York Baseball Player of the Year after hitting .356 with three home runs and 13 RBI this season. He added 13 walks and a .487 on-base percentage to go along with 15 stolen bases in 15 attempts. Garrett was named a 2015 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American and Northeast All-Region 1st Team. As a junior in 2014, he hit .474 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 25 RBI. In his freshman season in 2012, Whitley batted .395 over 16 games with a home run, two doubles, 18 RBI and seven runs scored.
Attendees in previous years have included the 2012 number one overall selection, shortstop Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros; 2012 American League Rookie of the Year, three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Most Valuable Player Mike Trout (2009) of the Los Angeles Angels; and Minnesota Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks (2008).
In addition to the three amateur players attending this year's Draft, University of South Carolina Beaufort senior pitcher Jason Boulais will be in attendance as a special guest of Major League Baseball. Boulais underwent surgery in May to have bone marrow removed from his back and pelvis in order to donate the bone marrow to a young boy in France, ending his final collegiate season after just 10 games. According to "Be the Match," Boulais was a preliminary match for the youngster, and blood tests confirmed that Jason was the boy's best hope to live. MLB is pleased to honor Jason's extraordinary gesture at the 2015 Draft.
Four Hall of Famers, one 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, three MVP winners, two Cy Young Award winners, one World Series-winning manager, two former number one overall selections and 25 All-Stars are among the baseball legends scheduled to represent the 30 Clubs at Major League Baseball's 2015 Draft, which is the 50th Anniversary of the first draft held in June 1965.
Ken Griffey Jr., the number one overall selection in the 1987 MLB Draft and the 1997 AL MVP, will join Hall of Famers Andre Dawson (1987 NL MVP), Tommy Lasorda, Mike Schmidt (1980-81, 1986 NL MVP) and Tony Perez as well as 2015 Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz (1996 NL Cy Young) in headlining an outstanding group of baseball personnel that is scheduled to attend the 2015 Draft. In addition to Smoltz, David Cone (1994 AL Cy Young) and Vernon Wells (5th overall selection, 1997) have been added to the previously announced list of Club representatives, replacing Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson (NYY) and Mel Didier (TOR).
Joining Griffey as former top overall selections at this year's 50th Anniversary celebration is Baltimore Orioles representative B.J. Surhoff, who was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the number one pick in the 1985 Draft.
Other former All-Stars who will represent the Clubs are (alphabetically): Rick Aguilera (MIN), Bob Boone (WSH), Johnny Damon (KC), Ryan Dempster (CHI), Gary DiSarcina (LAA), Steve Finley (SD), Ryan Franklin (STL), Ralph Garr (ATL), Luis Gonzalez (ARI), J.J. Putz (ARI), Ben Sheets (MIL), Lee Smith (SF), Mario Soto (CIN), Robby Thompson (CLE), Alan Trammell (DET), Tim Wakefield (BOS), Vernon Wells (TOR) and Jack Wilson (PIT).
The Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Monday, June 8th at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
The selection order of the Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. The Arizona Diamondbacks will have the first overall selection of the 2015 Draft, marking the second time in Club history that they hold the top selection. The D-backs also held the first overall pick in 2005, when they selected All-Star outfielder Justin Upton. Ten Clubs - the Houston Astros (2nd and 5th), the Colorado Rockies (3rd and 27th), the Atlanta Braves (14th and 28th), the New York Yankees (16th and 30th), the San Francisco Giants (18th and 31st), the Pittsburgh Pirates (19th and 32nd), the Kansas City Royals (21st and 33rd), the Detroit Tigers (22nd and 34th), the Los Angeles Dodgers (24th and 35th) and the Baltimore Orioles (25th and 36th) - have two selections in the first round. The Braves have a Major League-high five selections within the first 75 picks during the opening day of the Draft.
The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds. The 2015 Draft will span three days as it has since 2009. For day one on June 8th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round, Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. For the first time, a flexible time interval will be used during round one. The intervals between selections during round one will last between three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half minutes. There will be one-minute intervals between selections during Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. The Draft will resume at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, June 9th, when selections will be made for rounds 3-10, with one minute intervals between selections. Day three of the Draft on Wednesday, June 10th will begin at 12:00 p.m. (ET), featuring picks in rounds 11-40, with no time delay between selections.
Beginning with the Draft preview show at 6:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network's live coverage will feature news, analysis, interviews with Club front office personnel and representatives, footage from Club draft rooms, and features and interviews with prospects and newly drafted players. MLB Network's Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, Dan O'Dowd, Harold Reynolds and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo will anchor the live coverage with contributions from MLB Network's Scott Braun, Darryl Hamilton, Al Leiter, Pedro Martinez, Dan Plesac, Bill Ripken, Sam Ryan, John Smoltz, Tom Verducci and Matt Yallof, as well as Jim Callis of MLB.com and John Manuel of Baseball America. As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, MLB Network will air a feature on Rick Monday during the Draft preview show. Monday was the first overall selection in the inaugural MLB Draft in 1965, which ironically was also held on June 8th.
MLB.com will begin its exclusive live programming of the Draft's final two days with a live draft show from its New York studios at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on June 9th, followed by a live pick-by-pick stream and draft and scouting expert commentary from Mayo and Callis. It also will provide Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of more than 1,500 draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights. On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.
The MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM will also offer live MLB Draft coverage to listeners nationwide. SiriusXM's Grant Paulsen and former MLB general managers Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden will host Monday, June 8th starting at 6:00 pm ET and will provide live pick-by-pick analysis throughout the first round on Sirius channel 209, XM channel 89 and on the SiriusXM App.
The 2015 MLB Draft is supported by T-Mobile, the official wireless telecommunications sponsor of Major League Baseball, and The Topps Company, the exclusive trading card licensee of Major League Baseball.