For the second consecutive season, 37 NAIA players were selected by MLB teams in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, according to the NAIA.
Since 2008, the NAIA has averaged 41 players per year getting chosen, confirming that when you have talent scouts will continue to find you. And for the third time in the last four years, Major League Baseball has chosen a pitcher as the first NAIA selection.
There’s a stigma that if you aren’t playing NCAA baseball, the hope that playing professionally is out of your grasp. Perhaps it’s just a lack of knowledge. Of course that’s not true.
Every player choses their school based on a numbers of factors: academics, class size, and athletics. First and foremost, education should be your priority. The odds of playing professional sports at any level is very slim.
Those lucky enough to use sports as a springboard to the next level is an amazing accomplishment. When draft time comes around, and when that athlete gets selected in front of millions watching at home or gets that phone call saying they’ve been picked by a professional organization, there is nothing better.
The NAIA doesn’t get near the exposure as their NCAA counterparts, yet the talent from these small schools does get noticed.
Taken off the board with the first selection was RHP Julian Merryweather, 158th overall by the Cleveland Indians out of No. 4 ranked Oklahoma Baptist. Merryweather went 12-3 on the year. He fanned 132 in 100 innings, while surrendering 12 runs all season.
The next player taken was LHP Brad Wieck (7th round, 205th overall) out of 19th ranked Oklahoma City. The 6-9, 240 pound Wieck went 5-5 in 19 games. He struck out 118 in 69 innings. He also saved five games and held opponents to .218 batting average against.
Congratulation to the well deserved 37 players who got drafted. All the best in your professional careers.
For a complete list of the 37, please see below, courtesy of the NAIA.
Pick Round Team Player School Pos.
158 5 Cleveland Indians Julian Merryweather Oklahoma Baptist RHP
205 7 New York Mets Brad Wieck Oklahoma City LHP
277 9 Tampa Bay Rays Chris Pike Oklahoma City RHP
285 9 St. Louis Cardinals Daniel Poncedeleon Embry-Riddle (Fla.) RHP
286 10 Houston Astros Jay Gause Faulkner (Ala.) RHP
297 10 San Diego Padres Thomas Dorminy Faulkner (Ala.) LHP
304 10 Washington Nationals Matt Page Oklahoma Baptist RF
363 12 Kansas City Royals Emilio Ogando St. Thomas (Fla.) LHP
415 14 New York Mets Darryl Knight Embry-Riddle (Fla.) C
513 17 Kansas City Royals Brennan Henry Bellevue (Neb.) LHP
552 18 Oakland A’s Michael Nolan Oklahoma City LHP
553 18 Atlanta Braves Jacob Webb Tabor (Kan.) RHP
555 18 St. Louis Cardinals Blake Drake Concordia (Ore.) CF
597 20 San Diego Padres Tyler Wilson Tennessee Wesleyan RHP
639 21 Los Angeles Dodgers Osvaldo Vela Oklahoma Baptist SS
646 22 Houston Astros Bryan Muniz Southeastern (Fla.) 1B
690 23 Arizona Diamondbacks John Fidanza Georgia Gwinnett C
691 23 Baltimore Orioles Zeke McGranahan Georgia Gwinnett RHP
730 24 Detroit Tigers Gabe Hemmer San Diego Christian (Calif.) RHP
749 25 Los Angeles Angels Tyler Carpenter Georgia Gwinnett RHP
763 25 Atlanta Braves Kyle Kinman Bellevue (Neb.) LHP
787 26 Tampa Bay Rays Cade Gotta San Diego Christian (Calif.) CF
793 26 Atlanta Braves Trevor Sprowl Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) 2B
798 27 Chicago White Sox Ryan Jones Arizona Christian (Ariz.) 1B
809 27 Los Angeles Angels Cody Lavalli Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) RF
858 29 Chicago White Sox Evin Enhardt Brewton-Parker (Ga.) RHP
880 29 Detroit Tigers Jacob Butler St. Francis (Ill.) RHP
905 30 Cincinnati Reds Josciel Veras Cumberland (Tenn.) SS
963 32 Kansas City Royals Timothy Hill Bacone (Okla.) LHP
976 33 Houston Astros Edwin Medina St. Thomas (Fla.) OF
1036 35 Houston Astros Keegan Yuhl Concordia (Calif.) RHP
1044 35 Toronto Bluejays Joey Aquino San Diego Christian (Calif.) RHP
1071 36 Seattle Mariners Spencer Hermann Fisher (Mass.) LHP
1079 36 Los Angeles Angels Brandon Gildea Westmont (Calif.) C
1086 36 Texas Rangers Cody Chartrand Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) RHP
1142 38 New York Yankees Andre Del Bosque Houston-Victoria (Texas) RHP
1213 40 Atlanta Braves Randy Santiesteban Peru State (Neb.) 2B