Baseball C.J. Abrams David Dunn George Kontos Jack Dunn MLB Draft Nick Paciorek Northwestern Baseball Quinn Priester Top Stories

Nick Paciorek, Alex Erro, Jack Dunn chosen in 2019 MLB Draft

In the seventh round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Northwestern junior right-hander Nick Paciorek was chosen with the No. 225 decide by the New York Yankees. In response to MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis, he signed for $162,000, slightly under the decide value of $190,100.

He was the first Wildcat to be chosen since 2015 when Matt Portland went to the Kansas Metropolis Royals with the No. 519 general decide in the 17th round and Brandon Magallones went to the Chicgo White Sox with the No. 712 general decide in the 24th spherical. He is additionally the first participant to go inside the first ten rounds since current Texas Ranger Luke Farrell was nabbed in the sixth round by the Kansas City Royals in 2013.

With the selection, Paciorek turned the first player in the Spencer Allen era to be drafted. Allen stated he was in his office watching the livestream of the draft when Paciorek was chosen.

“It’s always a fun feeling to hear their name called,” Allen stated.

Paciorek’s path to the draft has been exceptional. After enjoying as a backup catcher as a freshman, Paciorek noticed very little enjoying time as a sophomore earlier than NU began experimenting with him on the mound. The Cats favored what they saw and Paciorek quickly turned a full-time pitcher. His improvement during the last year-plus has been exponential, and it culminated in him being the most effective pitcher on the workforce.

The California native was the fifth pitcher selected by the Yankees. Three of those twirlers have been lefties — Missouri’s T.J. Sikkema, East Carolina’s Jake Agnos and St. Mary’s Ken Waldichuk — with Sam Houston State’s Hayden Wesneski being the one righty.

Only one NU player had been drafted in the seventh spherical before Paciorek. That participant was Mark Loretta, who was chosen with the No. 203 decide by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1993. Loretta had a 15-year main league profession and is presently the bench coach of the Chicago Cubs.

Alex Erro selected in the 17th spherical

Junior infielder Alex Erro was chosen with the No. 527 general choice — the final decide of the 17th spherical — by the Boston Purple Sox. Erro announced Thursday on Instagram that he might be signing with the membership.

Allen stated Erro’s story is “pretty amazing,” as he was a most popular walk-on to this system who was not recruited anyplace else.

“It’s just a pretty cool story. Literally a walk-on — no one recruited him — to a junior draft,” Allen stated. “That just shows his development in his work.”

Allen was in Boston when he heard Erro was drafted, which he referred to as “ironic.”

The twitter account @MLBDraftTracker lists Erro as a second baseman, whereas MLB.com’s draft tracker has him labeled as an infielder. Erro began at second base for his first two-and-a-half seasons earlier than shifting to third base this spring to accommodate freshman Shawn Goosenberg.

Erro was the first non-first baseman infielder selected by the Pink Sox because the second round. Boston’s first two picks in the draft have been shortstops — Arizona’s Cameron Cannon and highschool senior Matthew Lugo.

Jack Dunn chosen in the 20th round

The Washington Nationals snagged senior shortstop Jack Dunn with the No. 603 general decide in the 20th round of the draft.
The four-year starter is likely one of the most adorned players to ever wear the purple “N.” He started every recreation during his four seasons and completed his profession with a primary group All-Massive Ten recognition.

Barret Arthur, Dunn’s adviser, had alerted Dunn that he thought Washington was going to pick him. Nevertheless, Dunn stated he did not need to get his hopes up.

He was strolling alongside Ridge Avenue when he saw the tweet saying the information. He stated his mother and father referred to as him immediately.

“It’s been kind of a roller coaster to be honest,” Dunn stated. “You always hear things and you really don’t know what to believe. I’m just happy that the Nationals picked me and I’m really excited to play for that organization.”

Dunn was the fourth shortstop chosen by the Nationals. BYU’s Jackson Cluff was drafted in the sixth round, Fresno State’s J.T. Arruda was taken in the 11th spherical and Western Oklahoma State’s Junior Martina in the 16th round.

When Dunn signs, he would be the second NU alumnus in the organization. George Kontos, who pitched for the Cats from 2004-2006, is presently with the Fresno Grizzlies, the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate.

“Why it took so long for him to get popped, who knows,” Allen stated. “I just could not be more happy for Jack.”

Allen added he has been in contact with all three drafted gamers and is happy for them.

First since 2004

The final time three players from NU have been chosen in the MLB Draft was 2004. J.A. Happ was chosen in the third spherical, Dan Pohlman in the 15th spherical and Dan Konecny in the 17th spherical. Pohlman and Konecny have been both out of baseball by the top of the 2007 season, however Happ continues to be enjoying. The southpaw is presently a starting pitcher for the Yankees.

Allen stated the plan is for gamers to get drafted every year, and he hopes the program will get to that point.

“This has been a special couple of days for the programs but especially for those three guys,” Allen stated.

NU compared to the Huge Ten

The three NU gamers drafted was tied for the fifth-most from one workforce in the Massive Ten. Indiana’s group had 10 players selected over the three-day draft — Matt Gorski was their highest-drafted participant at No. 57.

After Indiana, Illinois had six gamers selected, Michigan had five gamers and Minnesota had 4. Tied with the Cats at three players have been Michigan State and Penn State. Every Massive Ten staff had a participant chosen in the draft.

Allen stated he has coached teams earlier than with a number of guys being drafted, but this time round is far totally different.

“This is just special to me because its two guys that we recruited all three that we helped develop,” Allen stated. “That’s something for me, as an assistant whos bounced around, it’s just fun to play a very, very small part of their journey, but ultimately those guys turned themselves into great players.”

Quinn Priester and what might have been

The first participant from the state of Illinois selected in the draft was Quinn Priester, a right-handed pitcher out of Cary-Grove Excessive Faculty. Priester was the primary prep pitcher chosen in the draft.

NU provided the 6-foot-Three hurler between his freshman and sophomore yr, and earlier than he even pitched a varsity recreation. In line with The Athletic’s Patrick Murphy, Priester’s father was “blown away” by the supply.

And Allen was not the only one interested in his providers. The football staff additionally confirmed interested in Priester as a quarterback, and the excessive schooler considered being a two-way athlete. He ended up committing to TCU, though it appears he will never even compete for the Horned Frogs.

Earlier than the draft, Allen advised The Day by day that providing the Illinois native was not a troublesome determination, and added Priester could also be in the majors sooner fairly than later.

“That was kind of an easy one,” Allen stated with a chuckle. “You knew he was going to be good and it’s worked out. It looks like he’s going to have a chance to sign for a pretty good price tag. Being local, we got to know him and his family — great people. I wish him the best of luck.”

C.J. Abrams continues the Blessed Trinity Catholic shortstop legacy

C.J. Abrams was chosen by the San Diego Padres with the No. 6 general decide in the draft. Abrams performed highschool baseball at Blessed Trinity Catholic in Georgia. Abrams was the beginning shortstop for the past two seasons. The two beginning shortstops earlier than him have been Jack Dunn and David Dunn.

Jack Dunn stated he does not know Abrams, however the truth that two shortstops from Blessed Trinity have been drafted illustrates how nicely the varsity works with its gamers.

“It speaks to the high school, there’s a lot of talent there,” Dunn stated. “Great coaches, they develop their players really well.”

Wildcats faced lots of expertise in 2019

NU performed 21 groups this past spring, and those teams had a mixed 28 players chosen over the primary two days of the draft.

The highest Cats opponent to hear his identify referred to as was California’s Andrew Vaughn, who went No. 3 to the local Chicago White Sox. Vaughn — the 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner — was thought-about by many to be the perfect hitter in the draft. When he went towards NU in the primary week of the season, Vaughn went 2-for-2 with three walks. For the ultimate two at-bats, the Cats went with a four-man outfield.

Earlier than the sport towards the Golden Bears, assistant coach Josh Reynolds stated that Vaughn does an ideal job of going the place the pitch is thrown.

“He’s just a professional hitter,” Reynolds stated on February 6. “He just does a good job of not getting himself out. He has a good approach. He has a good, efficient swing. He is consistent with it and he does what he’s supposed to do.”

However Vaughn was not the only Cal player drafted over the primary two days. Korey Lee went with the No. 32 general choice, Cameron Eden went in the sixth round and Jared Horn in the seventh spherical. The 4 Golden Bears chosen on day one and two have been tied for probably the most gamers selected by a Cats opponent over those two days this season. Georgia Tech additionally had four players chosen in the first ten rounds of the draft, with two-way star Tristin English being the highest-drafted Yellow Jacket going in the third spherical.

Six drafted players NU confronted have been chosen on the primary day of the draft. In addition to Vaughn and Lee, Michigan pitchers Tommy Henry and Karl Kauffmann have been taken in Aggressive Stability Spherical B and Missouri’s Kameron Misner and Sikkema have been chosen in Aggressive Stability Round A.

Before the Cats played the Tigers in March, Allen referred to as Sikkema among the best arms in the SEC and Misner of probably the most “dynamic players” in the nation. For Misner, Allen stated the outfielder’s plus velocity makes him a troublesome hitter to pitch towards.

“We want to be a little bit more aggressive attacking him but you just have to mix your patterns on him,” Allen stated on March 6. “You can’t just try to pitch him one way or feed him one pitch. You got to really try to mix and hope he chases out of the zone a little bit.”

E-mail: [email protected]
Twitter: @thepeterwarren

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