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Drafted!

June 12, 2016
By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
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
Pick Round Team Player School Pos.
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