For the first time in four years, the Big 12 will not be represented in the College World Series, but conference teams were well represented in this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Forty-six Big 12 players were selected in the 2012 MLB draft, led by Oklahoma State All-American and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year this past season, Andrew Heaney, who was the ninth pick overall in the draft and the No. 1 selection of the Miami Marlins.
Heaney led all Big 12 pitchers in 2012 in ERA, strikeouts (140), shutouts (3), compete games (6) and opponent batting average (.180). .He was drafted by the other Florida major-league team, the Tampa Bay Rays in the 24th round in 2009.
Words can't explain how very excited and happy I am, Heaney said after learning of his selection. "Hopefully one day I'll be (in Miami) helping them out," he said.
In all, the Big 12 had four first-round picks in this year's MLB draft. In addition to Heaney, Big 12 Player of the Year Tyler Naquin of Texas A&M was taken by the Cleveland Indians with the 15th overall pick, and his teammate, pitcher Michael Wacha was the top pick of the St. Louis Cardinals and the 19th overall selection.
Barrett Barnes of Texas Tech was selected with the 45th pick in the supplemental first round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Red Raider outfielder was one of nine players from Tech selected among the over 1,200 players taken overall in the 40 rounds of the draft, which was the most among Big 12 schools.
The four Big 12 players selected in the first round of the 2012 draft is the second most from the conference. The conference had four first-round selections in 2006. The most in Big 12 history was five in 2004. The big 12 has had at least one first-round draft pick in each of the last 10 years. The highest overall pick was Alex Gordon, taken No. 2 in 2005 by the Kansas City Royals.
Texas A&M's Naquin was second in the Big 12 this season in hitting with a .360 batting average and led the second-place Aggies I n runs scored (56), hits (92), doubles (18) and triples (6). A&M's No. 1 starter, Wacha, was undefeated in the regular season and finished the year with a 9-1 record and a 2.60 ERA. His 27 career wins at A&M ties him for sixth place in program history.
A&M ranked second in the conference with eight players selected in the draft, Baylor and Oklahoma State were next with six players, Oklahoma with five and Missouri, Kansas State and Texas with four each. Kansas was the only conference school that did not have a player drafted in this year's MLB draft.
Five major league teams selected three players from the Big 12: the Los Angeles Angels, Seatlle Mariners and Detroit Tigers of the American League and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks from the National League.
The Dodgers, selected two Texas Tech players (right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann and left-hander Daniel Coulombe) along with A&M right-handed starter Ross Stripling. Arizona showed a favoring toward Oklahoma State, picking two Cowboys (third-baseman Mark Ginther and right-handed pitcher Chase Stevens). The Diamondbacks' third selection from the Big 12 was first-baseman Jacob House of Texas A&M.
Seattle also selected two Texas Tech players (second-baseman Jamodrick McGruder and le3ft-handed pitcher Rusty Shellhom). Southpaw Blake Holovach of Missouri was the Mariners third selection out of the Big 12. Ok;lahoma Friday starter, left-hander Jordan John, was a sixth-round selection of the Detroit Tigers, and his Sooner teammate, converted right-handed pitcher Drew Harrison, who started his OU career as a position player, was the Tigers' 23rd-round pick. Detroit also took left-handed pitcher John Turley of Baylor in the 16h round.
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