FIU righthander Nick MacDonald (FIU Athletics)


Fall Report: Florida International

Fall Report

MIAMI — Florida International led Conference USA with six players selected in the 2017 MLB draft, one short of the program record set in 1989.

But the biggest FIU story this summer revolved around the 14 Panthers recruits who were drafted. Had that class made it to campus in its entirety, it could have been transcendent for FIU.

But, unfortunately for the Panthers, 10 of the 14 signed with the pros, including outfielder Heliot Ramos, a first-round pick of the Giants, and catcher MJ Melendez, a second-round choice of the Royals and the son of FIU coach Mervyl Melendez.

The top two recruits FIU kept were lefthander Logan Allen, who was selected in the 16th round by the Orioles, and righthander Christian Santana, a 15th-rounder taken by the Brewers.

A year after finishing 31-27 and missing the NCAA postseason, FIU will field a young team. But Melendez, in his second year as FIU’s coach, does not believe he is starting from scratch.

“Rebuilding is never a word we will use in our program,” Melendez said. “We do undertand it takes time. Last season, we had a lot of seniors.

“The talent level is comparable. We just have younger guys. But they’re hungry, and that makes up for the lack of experience.”

Here’s a closer look at the team:

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