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Lee tops NAIA baseball draft list

Lee tops NAIA baseball draft list

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:00 pm

The 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft concluded on Wednesday as 28 NAIA programs had players drafted by 24 of MLB’s 30 clubs. In total, 44 NAIA student-athletes were selected during the three-day, 40-round event.
Lee (Tenn.) boasted the most draftees with five including: pitcher Kris Hall, pitcher Patrick Merkling, pitcher Vincent Spilker, pitcher Andy Hillis and catcher Jorge Saez. Oklahoma City was second with four, while British Columbia, Azusa Pacific (Calif.), Southern Poly (Ga.), Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Arizona Christian, Fresno Pacific (Calif.), Tennessee Wesleyan and St. Thomas (Fla.) had two selections, respectively.
Oklahoma City’s Dane Phillips, a junior catcher from Nacogdoches, Texas, was the first NAIA player off the board, selected in the second round (70th overall) by the San Diego Padres. Phillips, a 2012 NAIA First Team All-American, led the Stars with a .410 batting average and ranked second on the squad with 67 RBIs, 14 home runs, 160 total bases and three triples. Additionally, he paced the NAIA with 26 doubles, while ranking amongst the top 15 nationally in total bases, slugging percentage (.762), RBIs (67) and home runs.
The first NAIA pitcher drafted was Corey Black of Faulkner (Ala.). Black, chosen in the fourth round (157th overall) by the New York Yankees, was 11-2 with four complete games and a 1.53 earned run average in 14 starts this season. He held opponents to a .173 batting average and totaled 96 strikeouts, including a season high 10 punch-outs against Brewton-Parker (Ga.) on Feb. 24 and again on March 30 against Loyola (La.).
The Miami Marlins had the most NAIA selections with six, followed by the Chicago Clubs with four and the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres with three each.
Fourteen percent of participating institutions had players drafted in 2012. Since 2008, the NAIA has averaged 42 individuals selected each year by MLB clubs. Published in The WCP 6.12.12

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