St. John’s University athlete selected in the Major League Baseball draft

St. John’s University’s left-handed pitcher Nick Mondak. (Photo courtesy of St. John’s University)

St. John’s University’s left-handed pitcher Nick Mondak has been selected by the Los Angeles Angels with the No. 531 overall pick in the 18th round of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Mondak is the only player from the St. John’s program to be selected in the MLB 2021 draft after no player from the school was picked in the professional baseball league draft last year. He is also the 12th Red Storm hurler since 2015 to be selected in the MLB draft.

“We’re so happy for Nick and this amazing opportunity that has been presented to him,” St. John’s baseball team head coach Mike Hampton said. “He’s a tremendous talent and a natural leader that will represent St. John’s well at the next level.”

Mondak earned a spot on the All-Big East First Team in 2021 after going 4-3 with a 1.92 earned run average (ERA) in 11 starts at the top of the Red Storm rotation. In 65.2 innings of work, the lefty struck out 74 batters and surrendered only 18 walks.

Ranked 13th in the NCAA for ERA at season’s end, Mondak allowed just 13 extra-base hits and held opponents to a .248 batting average. He recorded no fewer than 5.0 innings in any one appearance and threw 6.0 or more frames in eight of those 11 outings.

Mondak recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts this year and punched out eight or more batters four times. He also fanned five or more batters in all but one of his 11 starts with the team.

Nick Mondak (Photo courtesy of St. John’s University)

Over the past several decades, St. John’s has been one of the northeast’s premier programs in terms of sending talent to the next level. From 2010-19, Red Storm student-athletes accumulated 39 draft picks, the highest totals in the northeast or the Big East.

When no Johnnies heard their names called during the five-round 2020 MLB draft, it marked the first summer since 1976 that no St. John’s players were drafted or signed to a free-agent professional contract.

“I doubt there are many other players in the draft that have overcome more adversity throughout their college careers than Nick, but he never complained,” Hampton said. “[He] just always put his head down and got better.”

After making just one appearance in his first two seasons with the program due to injury, Mondak returned to the mound in 2019 and put together an impressive campaign.

In 10 appearances, Mondak went 2-3 with a 3.86 earned run average. He struck out 34 batters and walked only 16, holding opponents to a .240 batting average in the process. Over his last six outings that spring, Mondak racked up 30 strikeouts and allowed just seven walks.

During the shortened 2020 season, he turned in a 4.29 earned run average against strong early season competition, including a no-decision against Cal that the Red Storm turned into a victory. He punched out 21 batters in 21.0 innings of work.

Mondak has deep athletic roots in his family, as his cousin, Kyle Nolan, played quarterback at Georgetown, and three of his uncles played collegiate football or basketball. He lists the former New York Yankee player Derek Jeter as his favorite athlete.