Coyotes, Gators lead in JUCO draftees
San Jacinto (Texas) College-North and the College of Southern Nevada were the top two ranked teams going into the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series last week.
Although neither school won the National Junior College Athletic Association baseball championship, there was a good reason for the two schools’ high ranking.
Southern Nevada had the most players selected through the first 30 rounds of the Major League Baseball amateur draft with seven, including top pick Bryce Harper. San Jacinto had six players selected. National champion Iowa Western Community College didn’t have one player drafted through 30 rounds.
The six Southern Nevada players selected after Harper were all pitchers, including his older brother, left-handed pitcher Bryan Harper, in the 27th round by the Chicago Cubs.
Right-handed pitcher Donn Roach was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the compensation B round (in between the third and fourth round). A compensatory pick is awarded to teams that lost a free agent in the previous offseason.
Another Southern Nevada pitcher, Ken McDowall, was selected in the eighth round by the New York Mets. The Coyotes closer, Aaron Kurcz, was picked in the 10th round by the Chicago Cubs, left-handed pitcher Chasen Shreve was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round and right-hander Tyler Hanks could join Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals, if they both sign contracts. Hanks was picked in the 17th round.
The JUCO World Series Most Outstanding Pitcher, Sean Nolin of San Jacinto (Texas) College, was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 186th selection in the sixth round.
The Baltimore Orioles drafted San Jacinto pitcher Clayton Schrader in the 10th round and catcher Ryan Hornback in the 12th round.
San Jac right-handed pitcher Chris McKenzie went to the Washington Nationals in the 13th round (386) and left-hander Miguel Peña was drafted by the San Diego Padres later in the same round.
The Nationals started the 16th round by selecting San Jac pitcher Mark Herrera (476) and outfielder Randall Thorpe went to the Chicago White Sox in the 18th round.
State College of Florida pitcher Alex Burgos was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the fifth round and right-hander Joshua Lucas was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 21st round.
Pitt (N.C.) Community College pitcher Jeff Ferrell was drafted in the 26th round by Detroit.
Howard College pitcher Burch Smith was selected in the 20th round by the Cleveland Indians. Smith was on the Hawks national championship team in 2009 and has signed with the University of Oklahoma.