MLB Draft: Local players get their shot
Auburn Montgomery pitcher Rock Rucker was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round, the 595th overall pick, Wednesday during the 2015 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
Rucker became the 10th member of the Warhawks’ baseball program to be drafted by a MLB team and the second in as many seasons. Trevor Sprowl was chosen in the 26th round of last year’s draft by the Atlanta Braves. Rucker’s selection gave AUM four draftees in the last seven seasons.
The 6-5, 215-pound lefty played just one season at AUM after spending the two previous seasons at Auburn University. In six appearances, Rucker posted a 4.50 earned run average, striking out 10 hitters in six innings and limiting opponents to hit just .100 against him. He allowed just two hits. The Marietta, Ga., native also hit .333 in 21 plate appearances, hitting a triple and a pair of home runs, while driving in six.
Taylor picked by Red Sox
Montgomery native and former Brewbaker Tech star Ben Taylor was taken in the seventh round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2015 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
Taylor, who led the Rams to the 2009 Class 4A playoffs, pitched two seasons at Chattahoochee Valley Community College before finishing the last two at South Alabama.
This past season, Taylor pitched 42-plus innings of relief, earning 68 strikeouts while recording a 1.48 earned run average in 25 appearances.
Alabama State, Faulkner has players taken
Two pitchers from Alabama State and another from Faulkner were taken on the final day of the MLB draft on Wednesday.
ASU righthanders Armando Ruiz and Jorge Pantoja were taken in the 29th and 30th rounds, respectively. Ruiz was selected by the Oakland Athletics while Pantoja was selected by Washington.
Faulkner righthander Jake Charleston was selected in the 30th round by the Chicago White Sox.