C-USA Has 35 Players Taken in 2014 MLB Draft
June 5, 2014
Conference USA had a total of 35 players selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, which concluded Saturday evening. East Carolina RHP Jeff Hoffman was the first C-USA player chosen, going to the Toronto Blue Jays with the ninth pick of the first round. He is the third player in C-USA history to be selected in the top 10.
With his first round selection, Hoffman becomes the highest draft pick in school history in any sport, besting Theodore "Blue" Edwards, who was the 21st-overall selection by the Utah Jazz in the 1989 NBA Draft. The right-hander from Latham, N.Y. is the third-highest baseball selection in Conference USA history trailing only Houston's Brad Lincoln (No. 4 in 2006 by the Pittsburgh Pirates) and Rice's Anthony Rendon (No. 6 in 2011 by the Washington Nationals). Hoffman appeared in 10 games in 2014 (all starts), posting a 3-3 record with a 2.94 ERA. He finished the season with 72 strikeouts to 20 walks in 67.1 innings pitched, holding opposing batters to a .216 composite batting average.
FIU junior catcher Aramis Garcia, the 2014 C-USA Player of the Year, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the second round at No. 52 overall. That was the second-highest that an FIU player has ever been selected. Garcia was recently named an All-American and was also a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation's best catcher. He hit .368 this season with 14 doubles, eight home runs and 37 RBI. He finished first in Conference USA in batting average, led the conference in slugging percentage (.626) and finished second in on-base percentage (.442). His eight home runs tied for third in C-USA and his .592 slugging percentage and five home runs in C-USA games led the conference.
Eleven teams that played in Conference USA during the 2014 season had at least one player chosen, with Rice producing the most picks with seven, while East Carolina, FIU, Southern Miss and UTSA each had four apiece.
The Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres selected the most Conference USA players with four, while the Los Angeles Angels chose three.
C-USA's 2014 MLB DRAFT PICKS
Rd. Player Pos. School MLB Team 1 Jeff Hoffman RHP East Carolina Toronto Blue Jays 2 Aramis Garcia C FIU San Francisco Giants 3 Zech Lemond RHP Rice San Diego Padres 4 Ryan Yarbrough LHP Old Dominion Seattle Mariners 4 Austin Gomber LHP Florida Atlantic St. Louis Cardinals 6 Skyler Ewing 1B Rice San Francisco Giants 6 Zac Curtis LHP Middle Tennessee Arizona Diamondbacks 7 Ryan Butler RHP Charlotte San Diego Padres 7 Mike Franco RHP FIU Tampa Bay Rays 8 Bradley Roney RHP Southern Miss Atlanta Braves 10 Randy LeBlanc RHP Tulane Minnesota Twins 10 Ryan Williams RHP East Carolina Chicago Cubs 13 Mike Gomez LHP FIU Chicago White Sox 13 Zach Houchins 3B East Carolina Los Angeles Angels 14 Chase Mallard RHP UAB Toronto Blue Jays 14 Justin Anderson RHP UTSA Los Angeles Angels 14 Ian Tompkins LHP WKU Kansas City Royals 15 Connor Overton RHP Old Dominion Miami Marlins 15 Caleb Smith RHP Rice Milwaukee Brewers 15 Matt Ditman RHP Rice St. Louis Cardinals 17 Shane Hoelscher 3B Rice Colorado Rockies 19 John Bormann C UTSA Los Angeles Angels 20 Kyle McKenzie RHP Tulane Tampa Bay Rays 24 Conor Fisk RHP Southern Miss Toronto Blue Jays 25 Mason Robbins OF Southern Miss Chicago White Sox 27 Taylor Nunez RHP Southern Miss Boston Red Sox 27 Matt Sims RHP UTSA Atlanta Braves 29 Matt Blackham RHP Middle Tennessee New York Mets 29 Mitch Morales SS Florida Atlantic San Diego Padres 30 Tyler Mapes RHP Tulane Washington Nationals 31 Brock Hudgens RHP Charlotte Milwaukee Brewers 33 Tyler Bolton RHP East Carolina Arizona Diamondbacks 33 Louis Silverio OF FIU Chicago White Sox 37 Michael Kraft LHP UTSA Toronto Blue Jays 40 Trent Miller OF Middle Tennessee Toronto Blue Jays