Jesse Berardi’s name was called during the Major League Baseball amateur draft for the second time Tuesday night. This time, it was much earlier than the first.
Berardi, a junior from St. John’s and a Commack High School graduate, was selected by the Indians in the 10th round with the 312th overall pick. Three years ago, the shortstop was taken out of high school in the 40th round by the Phillies.
“It was pretty exciting and I’m just excited to have an opportunity to join a great organization,” said Berardi, who hit .312 with a .412 on-base percentage and .426 slugging percentage in 481 collegiate at-bats. This season, he posted a .356/.456/.462 slash line and earned first-team All-Big East honors.
“It’s exciting to hear your name called,” added Berardi, who said he watched the draft at home with family and friends.
The 5-10, 185-pounder walked more times than he struck out during his college career (76-72). His MLB.com scouting report touts his “strong hit tool” and “advanced approach” at the plate and says “he has some extra-base power.”
He was drafted initially after a decorated high school career in which he earned the Yastrzemski Award as Suffolk’s best player and Newsday’s Player of the Year award in 2014. He also was a two-time All-Long Island selection.
Berardi said passing up the chance to go pro in 2014 was a “tough decision,” but was ultimately the right one. “St. John’s was great for me, and I’ll never forget the memories.”
He appeared in 43 games for the Red Storm as a freshman and started 16 of them. Although he hit only .200, his ability to draw walks was there from the start, as he posted a .321 on-base percentage.
As a sophomore, the hits began to come, as he batted .298 in 54 games. He also maintained his high walk rate and added some power, producing a .394 on-base percentage and .455 slugging percentage.
In his junior year, he was fourth in the Big East in average and was tied for third in RBIs (47) and runs (45). He also helped the Red Storm earn a spot in the Clemson Regional.
Said Berardi: “I’m just excited for what’s up next.”