Photo provided by Menlo (Calif.) Athletic Department
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thirty-nine student-athletes representing 21 different NAIA programs were selected in the 2016 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft, which wrapped up Saturday evening. The players were picked by 21 different MLB clubs during the three-day, 40-round event.
Lucas Erceg of Menlo (Calif.) – chosen in the second round and 46th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers – was the first NAIA student-athlete off the board. The junior third baseman hit a team-high 20 home runs – fifth-best total in the NAIA this season – to go along with a .308 batting average and .639 slugging percentage. Erceg also led the team with 15 doubles, 70 hits, 227 at-bats and was second in RBI with 56. His 46th overall selection is the highest for an NAIA student-athlete since Chris Smith of Cumberland (Tenn.) was drafted seventh overall in 2001.
Curtis Taylor of British Columbia was the first NAIA pitcher drafted. Taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 119th pick overall, Taylor was a key part of a talented Thunderbird pitching staff in 2016. The Port Coquitlam, B.C., native posted a 9-4 record in 15 starts this season. Taylor was second on the club with 113 strikeouts to only 22 walks in 91.2 innings.
Davenport (Mich.) and World Series champion Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) each had an NAIA-best four players selected, while British Columbia, Faulkner (Ala.) and Westmont (Calif.) had three student-athletes taken.
The Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres had the most NAIA selections with four each. Draftees for the Rangers were Josh Merrigan of Georgia Gwinnett (10th round, 309 overall), Christian Torres of Faulkner (30th round, 909 overall), Travis Bolin of Davenport (32nd round, 969 overall) and Mark Vasquez of Faulkner (33rd round, 999 overall). The Padres’ four picks were Benjamin Sheckler of Cornerstone (Mich.) (8th round, 234 overall), Chris Mattison of Southeastern (Fla.) (16th round, 474 overall), Luis Anguizola of Loyola (La.) (25th round, 744 overall) and Will Solomon of Georgia Gwinnett (38th round, 1,134 overall).
For the complete draft breakdown from MLB.com, click here.
For more information on NAIA baseball, click here.2016 MLB Draft – NAIA Players Selected
|46||2||Milwaukee Brewers||Lucas Erceg||Menlo (Calif.)||3B|
|119||4||Arizona Diamondbacks||Curtis Taylor||British Columbia||RHP|
|209||7||Arizona Diamondbacks||Jordan Watson||Science & Arts (Okla.)||LHP|
|234||8||San Diego Padres||Benjamin Sheckler||Cornerstone (Mich.)||LHP|
|258||9||Cincinnati Reds||Alex Webb||British Columbia||RHP|
|266||9||Chicago White Sox||Max Dutto||Menlo (Calif.)||SS|
|277||9||Houston Astros||Ryan Hartman||Tennessee Wesleyan||LHP|
|309||10||Texas Rangers||Josh Merrigan||Georgia Gwinnett||OF|
|379||13||Atlanta Braves||Brandon White||Davenport (Mich.)||RHP|
|416||14||Chicago White Sox||Bryan Saucedo||Davenport (Mich.)||RHP|
|425||14||San Francisco Giants||Conner Menez||The Master's (Calif.)||LHP|
|445||15||Detroit Tigers||John Schreiber||Northwestern Ohio||RHP|
|464||15||Chicago Cubs||Jed Carter||Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||RHP|
|474||16||San Diego Padres||Chris Mattison||Southeastern (Fla.)||C|
|480||16||New York Mets||Jacob Zanon||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||CF|
|575||19||San Francisco Giants||Brandon Van Horn||The Master's (Calif.)||SS|
|604||20||Washington Nationals||Jake Barnett||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||LHP|
|694||23||Washington Nationals||Michael Rishwain||Westmont (Calif.)||RHP|
|708||24||Cincinnati Reds||Bruce Yari||British Columbia||1B|
|744||25||San Diego Padres||Luis Anguizola||Loyola (La.)||C|
|778||26||Boston Red Sox||Jared Oliver||Truett-McConnell||RHP|
|799||27||Atlanta Braves||Corbin Clouse||Davenport (Mich.)||LHP|
|801||27||Milwaukee Brewers||Nick Cain||Faulkner (Ala.)||RF|
|860||29||Colorado Rockies||Josh Shelley||Mobile (Ala.)||RHP|
|886||29||St. Louis Cardinals||Noel Gonzalez||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||RHP|
|903||30||Minnesota Twins||Quin Grogan||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||RHP|
|909||30||Texas Rangers||Christian Torres||Faulkner (Ala.)||LHP|
|922||31||Oakland Athletics||Sam Sheehan||Westmont (Calif.)||RHP|
|953||32||Miami Marlins||Chevis Hoover||Tennessee Wesleyan||RHP|
|965||32||San Francisco Giants||John Timmins||Bellevue (Neb.)||RHP|
|969||32||Texas Rangers||Travis Bolin||Davenport (Mich.)||OF|
|976||32||St. Louis Cardinals||Leland Tilley||Bellevue (Neb.)||RHP|
|982||33||Oakland Athletics||Jarrett Costa||Westmont (Calif.)||C|
|999||33||Texas Rangers||Mark Vasquez||Faulkner (Ala.)||RHP|
|1056||35||Los Angeles Angels||Sean Issac||Vanguard (Calif.)||RHP|
|1086||36||Los Angeles Angels||Jose Rojas||Vanguard (Calif.)||SS|
|1121||37||Los Angeles Dodger||Enrique Zamora||Calument (Ind.)||RHP|
|1134||38||San Diego Padres||Will Solomon||Georgia Gwinnett||LHP|
|1161||39||Milwaukee Brewers||Jose Gomez||St. Thomas (Fla.)||CF|