MIKE NIKORAK, RHP
Stroudsburg H.S. (Pennsylvania)
HT: 6-5 WT: 205 B/T: R/R
Born: 9/16/96 Hometown: Stroudsburg, PA
Over his first 29.2 innings pitched as a senior this season, Mike was 2-1 with a 0.94 ERA and 50 strikeouts. In addition, he was hitting .417 with six home runs, 23 RBI and a .792 slugging percentage at the plate. The 18-year-old was named the 2015 Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania. As a junior in 2014, Nikorak went 4-3 with a 1.01 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched, and batted .460. The 2014 All-State 1st Team honoree was the starting pitcher at the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago last summer.
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.
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.
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.