Olympic Sports

Ratliff Drafted in 17th Round of the MLB Draft by Texas Rangers

on

HUNTINGTON — Marshall junior infielder Tyler Ratliff was selected with the 524th pick in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. “Tyler [Ratliff] is one of the best positional players that we’ve had in the program,” head coach Jeff Waggoner said. “He has helped elevate the program to new heights. I’m so excited for him to have the opportunity to play professionally or to return for his senior season.”

Ratliff became the ninth highest draft selection in program history. The Alexandria, Va., product joins Aaron Blair (2013, first round, 36 overall), Joe Goddard (1971, eighth round, 175 overall), Kansas City Royals HOF reliever Jeff Montgomery (1983, ninth round, 212 overall), John McKinney (1985, 11th round, 278 overall), Greg Williams (2011, 12th round, 384 overall), John Chafin (1988, 18th round, 457 overall), Isaac Ballou (2013, 15th round, 466 overall) and Joe Church (2012, 17th round, 525 overall) as the 10th Herd player to be selected in the first 20 rounds of the draft.

Goddard (San Diego Padres) and Montgomery (Cincinnati Reds and Royals) are members of the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame. They played in the majors along with Blair and Rick Reed (draftee from Herd who eventually won a World Series game with the New York Mets versus the New York Yankees), and Blair and Ballou are still active in their careers, currently in the minor leagues.

MUBB 2016 vs. EKU 3-19-16 Tyler Ratliff on infield

Tyler Ratliff was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 17th round of the June Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. (HI file photo)

Ratliff is the 20th Marshall player to be drafted under the tutelage of coach Waggoner, since taking over the program in 2007. He is the 30th player to ever be selected in Marshall University history. Waggoner’s lone current major league player is Miami Marlins starter Dan Straily, drafted in 2009.

The infielder appeared in and started 53 games at third base this past season for the Thundering Herd. Ratliff held a .295 batting average with 62 hits and 47 RBIs. He led the Herd with 53 runs. Ratliff also recorded 15 doubles, 11 home runs, and three triples. He tallied 15 multi-high games, including six games of a season-high three hits. He posted a season-best five RBIs against Niagara on March 11.

Ratliff made four appearances on the mound as a junior. He held a 1-0 record and recorded three saves. His lone win came against No. 25 Southern Miss on March 24.

Ratliff was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Mideast All-Region Second Team and was a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week as a sophomore. He finished the season with a .327 batting average, 66 hits, 35 runs and 47 RBIs.

Marshall and the MLB Draft

HUNTINGTON – Here are the records we have on the Thundering Herd, 1965-2017, by the year selected, by the round and showing the overall number selected:

1965-69

Bobby L. “Bob” Lemley, 2B, 1968, 42nd round-844th selection, June Amateur Draft, Cincinnati Reds. Lemley played 1968 at Sioux Falls in the Class A (low A, 69 games) Northern League. In 1969, he played for Class A Tampa Tarpons (51 games) in the Florida State League and Asheville Tourist (44 games) of the Class AA South Atlantic League. Long-time head football coach of Poca (W.Va.) High School “Dots” who is now retired.

Steven K. “Steve” Miller, P, 1969, 11th round-252nd selection, June Amateur Draft, Cincinnati Reds. Miller pitched in 1969 for Sioux Falls in Class A (Low-A, 11 games) Northern League. In 1970 he played for the Tampa Tarpons (19 games) in the Florida State League, then returned to Tampa (for one game) in 1971, then at Raleigh-Durham Bulls (15 games) of Class A Carolina League.

1970-79

Carl E. Hewlett, P, 1970, 44th round-873rd selection, June Amateur Draft, Pittsburgh Pirates. Hewlett pitched in Rookie League for Gulf Coast League Tourists (11 games), then moved up to Monroe Pirates of the Western Carolina League in 1971 (four games).

Joseph Harold “Joe” Goddard, C, 1971, 8th round-168th selection, June Amateur Draft, San Diego Padres. Played at Tri-Cities  (Northwest League, in low A, 49 games) in 1971, then Alexandria Aces (Texas League, AA, 75 games) in 1972 and 1973 (113 games), and had 12 games with major league SD Padres in 1972 at catcher. In 1974, started with Alexandria Aces (79 games), then up to Hawaii Islanders (Pacific Coast League, AAA, 31 games). In 1975, again split the year between Alexandria (39 games) and Hawaii (30 games), then spent 1976 with Amarillo Gold Sox in Texas League for one game. Returned to West Virginia and is the only coach in the history of Independence High School in southern W.Va. until his retirement, winning one state title. He is a part-time coach for the West Virginia Miners, a summer collegiate wooden-bat league in the Prospect League, and entered the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame last year.

Lawrence Owen “Larry” Berkery, OF/1B, 1974 (Riverview HS, Sarasota, Fla.), 15th round-342nd selection, Chicago White Sox. Berkery picked college over joining the White Sox and played quarterback for the Thundering Herd from 1975 to 1977, and played baseball at Marshall1976-78, helping the Herd to a Southern Conference championship and a second appearance in the NCAA Tournament (beat Florida State and Clemson, but lost twice to Miami, Fla. in Coral Gables). White Sox claimed Berkery in 1978, sent him to the Chicago Cubs and he played for the Cubs (23 games) of the Gulf Coast League.

Louis “Lou” Packer, C, 1976, 21st round-497th selection, June Amateur Draft, Philadelphia Phillies. Packer played in low A for the Auburn Phillies (46 games) of the New York-Penn League.

1980-89

Jeffrey Thomas “Jeff” Montgomery, P, 1982, 42nd round-823rd selection, San Francisco Giants. Montgomery returned to MU for his senior season in 1983 after leading the Herd to a Southern Conference title in 1981.

Jeff Montgomery, P, 1983, 9th round-211th selection, Cincinnati Reds. Montgomery started his career with the Reds at Billings in the Pioneer (Rookie, 20 games) League in 1983. In 1984, he started with the Tampa Tarpons (31 games) of Class A Florida State League, then moved up to Class AA with the Vermont Reds (Eastern League, 22 games) later that year and returned to Vermont in 1985 (53 games). In 1986, he arrived at Class AAA with the Denver Zephyrs (American Association, 30 games), then stayed with the club when they became the Nashville Sounds for 1987 (24 games). He appeared in 14 games with the Reds as well in 1987.

Montgomery was traded to Kansas City in 1988, playing still in the American Association for 20 games before moving up to the big club for the rest of the season (45 games). He would add 641 more games with Royals to finish his professional career with 700 games and 304 saves (20th all-time), as well as a career 3.27 ERA, 733 strikeouts and just 296 walks in 868.2 innings pitched.

Montgomery is in the KC Royals HOF and MU Athletic HOF. He pitched in the 1992, 1993 and 1996 All-Star games and was the 1993 AL Rolaids Reliever of the Year as well as finishing 13th in voting for the AL MVP.

Gregory Allen “Greg” Hill, C/2B,1984, 3rd round-59th selection, January Draft-Regular Phase, Minnesota Twins. Hill spent 1984 and 1985 with Kenosha Twins of the Midwest League in Class A. Hill appeared in 204 games.

John D. “J.D.” McKinney, P, 1985, 11th round-278th selection, June Amateur Draft, Philadelphia Phillies. McKinney spent two seasons with the Phillies organization. in 1985, he appeared in 13 games for the Bend Phillies of the short-season Class A Northwest League. He moved to the Utica Blue Sox of the New York-Penn League in 1986, appearing in 14 games.

Richard Allen “Rick” Reed, P, 1986, 26th round-649th selection, Pittsburgh Pirates. Reed led Marshall in appearances in 1985, his only season pitching at MU, and was drafted in 1986, pitching in eight games in the Gulf Coast League for the GLC Pirates, then moving to the South Atlantic League Class A Macon Pirates for one game. In 1987, he appeared in 46 games with Macon, them was with three teams in 1988: the Salem Buccaneers in the Carolina League (Class A, 15 games); the Buffalo Bison in the American Association (Class AAA, 10 games); and with the Harrisburg Senators in the Eastern League (Class AA, two games), finally moving up to the MLB Pirates that season (two games). In 1989 (Buffalo, games; Pittsburgh, 15 games), in 1990 (Buffalo, games; Pittsburgh, 13 games) and in 1991 (Buffalo, games; Pittsburgh, one game), Reed bounced between the MLB level and AAA and was released by the Pirates in the spring of 1992. He signed one day later with the Kansas City Royals, appearing in 19 games with the MLB club and in 11 games with the Omaha Royals in the American Association (AAA), returning to Omaha in 1993 for 24 games and one game with the Royals before being traded to the Texas Rangers. He pitched in six games for the Rangers, and five games for the Oklahoma City 89ers in the American Association. In 1994, he pitched four games for the Rangers, and two games at OKC, but was selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds next and appeared in 21 games in the American Association for the Indianapolis Indians. In 1995, he pitched in four games for the Reds, and 22 games at Indianapolis. In 1996, he signed with the New York Mets and appeared in 28 games at the AAA level in the International League for the Norfolk Tides. In 1997-2001, Reed pitched for the Mets (120 games, including World Series in 2000, allowing two runs and striking out eight in a no-decision against the NY Yankees), although he spent time in 1999 at Binghamton Mets in AA Eastern League (one game) and at Norfork (one game)

In 1989 (Buffalo, games; Pittsburgh, 15 games), in 1990 (Buffalo, games; Pittsburgh, 13 games) and in 1991 (Buffalo, games; Pittsburgh, one game), Reed bounced between the MLB level and AAA and was released by the Pirates in the spring of 1992. He signed one day later with the Kansas City Royals, appearing in 19 games with the MLB club and in 11 games with the Omaha Royals in the American Association (AAA), returning to Omaha in 1993 for 24 games and one game with the Royals before being traded to the Texas Rangers. He pitched in six games for the Rangers, and five games for the Oklahoma City 89ers in the American Association. In 1994, he pitched four games for the Rangers, and two games at OKC, but was selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds next and appeared in 21 games in the American Association for the Indianapolis Indians. In 1995, he pitched in four games for the Reds, and 22 games at Indianapolis. In 1996, he signed with the New York Mets and appeared in 28 games at the AAA level in the International League for the Norfolk Tides. In 1997-2001, Reed pitched for the Mets (120 games, including World Series in 2000, allowing two runs and striking out eight in a no-decision against the NY Yankees), although he spent time in 1999 at Binghamton Mets in AA Eastern League (one game) and at Norfork (one game)

In 1995, he pitched in four games for the Reds, and 22 games at Indianapolis. In 1996, he signed with the New York Mets and appeared in 28 games at the AAA level in the International League for the Norfolk Tides. In 1997-2001, Reed pitched for the Mets (120 games, including World Series in 2000, allowing two runs and striking out eight in a no-decision against the NY Yankees), although he spent time in 1999 at Binghamton Mets in AA Eastern League (one game) and at Norfork (one game)  then moved to the Minnesota Twins (72 games) in the middle of 2001-2003. Despite the long and winding road, Reed ended up with a 93-76 mark in the majors, a 4.03 ERA with 970 strikeouts and just 285 walks, making the All-Star game in 1998 and 2001. He also hit .172 at the plate, with nine doubles, two home runs, and 24 RBI. Reed was an assistant coach one season at Marshall for head coach Dave Piepenbrink after his career and still lives in the Huntington area.

Despite the long and winding road, Reed ended up with a 93-76 mark in the majors, a 4.03 ERA with 970 strikeouts and just 285 walks, making the All-Star game in 1998 and 2001. He also hit .172 at the plate, with nine doubles, two home runs, and 24 RBI. Reed was an assistant coach one season at Marshall for head coach Dave Piepenbrink after his career and still lives in the Huntington area.

John W. Chafin, P, 1988, 18th round-457th selection, June Amateur Draft, Chicago White Sox. In 1988, Chafin was at the Utica Blue Sox in the Class A New York-Penn League for two games. In 1989, he would play in four games for the GLC White Sox in the Gulf Coast League (rookie league). He then signed with the Boston Red Sox for four games with the Elmira Pioneers of the NY-Penn League.

1990-99

Matt Spade, P, 1991, 52nd round-1,328 selection, June Amateur Draft, San Diego Padres. Spade would attend Marshall University, pitching from 1992-94.

Matt Spade, P, 1994, 28th round-774th selection, June Amateur Draft, Pittsburgh Pirates. Spade signed with Pirates and headed to the Welland Pirates of the Class (low) A New York-Penn League for 1994, pitching in 15 games. In 1995, he moved up to the August Greenjackets of the Class A South Atlantic League and appeared in 51 games. His final season in the minors was in high A with the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League, pitching in 53 games.

Rick Paugh, P, 1994, 45th round-1,239th selection, June Amateur Draft, Pittsburgh Pirates. Paugh would pitch in the minors from 1994-2001. In his first season, he joined MU teammate Matt Spade with the Welland Pirates in the NY-Penn League, pitching in 26 games. He and Spade moved to Augusta in 1995, appearing in 52 games then both went to Lynchburg in 1996, pitching in 45 games. Paugh dropped down to Augusta for 24 games in the South Atlantic League in 1997, then returned to Lynchburg for 24 games in the Carolina League and finished the year in Class AA with five games for Carolina Mudcats of the Southern League. In 1998, Paugh was back in rookie ball for four games in rehab with the Gulf Coast League Pirates, then moved back to Lynchburg for 14 games before being released by Pittsburgh. In 2000, Paugh moved to the independent Frontier League, appearing in two games for the Chillicothe (Ohio) Paints, then 11 games for the Canton (Ohio) Crocodiles. He joined the All-American Association, another independent league, and pitched 28 games for the Baton Rouge (La.) Blue Marlins.

2000-2011

Eddie Rush, 2005 (Westlake HS, Atlanta, Ga.), 44th round-1,325 selection, June Amateur Draft, Chicago Cubs. Rush played as Marshall 2006-2009, signed with Detroit Tigers as non-drafted free agent in 2009. He spent one season with the GLC Tigers in the rookie league, playing in 31 games.

Nate Lape, OF, 2008, 20th round-617th selection,  June Amateur Draft, Colorado Rockies. Lape started his career at UNC, then played three seasons for the Thundering Herd, including 2009 when he didn’t sign with Colorado after his junior season. He signed after his senior year with the Frontier League’s independent team, the Gateway Grizzlies from Sauget, Ill. and appeared in 21 games.

Steve Blevins, P, 2008, 21st round-636th selection, June Amateur Draft, Minnesota Twins. Blevins signed with the Twins, playing eight games at the rookie level GCL Twins, then moving up to the Appalachian League with Elizabethton (Tenn.) and pitching in 17 games. In 2009, he pitched in 50 games for Class A Beloit (Wisc.) Snappers of the Midwest League, and started 12 games there in 2010. He moved up to high-A in the Florida State League for the Fort Meyers Miracle, playing in 33 games and got four games at AA with the New Britain (Conn.) Rock Cats before being released after going 10-12, with a 4.08 ERA, 158 strikeouts, and just 68 walks.

Thomas “Tommy” Johnson, C, 2008, 27th round-822 selection, June Amateur Draft, Seattle Mariners. Another member of the Conference USA Tournament runner-up Herd, Johnson signed with the Mariners and headed to the rookie Appalachian League for 36 games with Pulaski (Va.), hitting .345. Johnson would catch for Pulaski for 21 games in 2009, hitting .361, and get five games at Class A with the Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings before being released. He signed in the independent Frontier League with the Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums in 2010, hitting just .176 in 32 games.

Gregory Scott “Greg” Williams, P, 2008 (Moeller HS, Cincinnati, Ohio), 31st round-923rd selection, Tampa Bay Rays. Williams turned down the Rays and played at MU 2009-2011, when he was drafted higher.

Daniel “Dan” Straily, P, 2009, 24th round-723rd selection, June Amateur Draft, Oakland A’s. Straily signed after his junior year, pitching two years for the Herd after pitching as a frosh for Western Oregon University. Straily headed to Vancouver Canadians in the Class (low) A and pitched in 16 games. In 2010, he moved up to the Kane County (Geneva, Ill.) Cougars in the Class A Midwest League, pitching in 28 games. In 2011, Straily moved up to the Stockton Ports in Class (high) A California League and continued his climb with the A’s this year at the Midland RockHounds in Class AA. This year he is 3-4, with a 3.79 ERA, 90 Ks and just 23 walks, as of 6-6-12. He has since pitched for the Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds and is currently with the Miami Marlins as a starter.

Aaron Blair, P, 2010, 21st round-633 selection, June Amateur Draft, Houston Astros. Blair came to Marshall to play, redrafted in first round of 2013 Draft.

Kevin Shackelford, C/P, 2010, 21st round-639th selection, June Amateur Draft, Milwaukee Brewers. Shackelford, a catcher for the Herd, signed and was moved to the Rookie Arizona League, playing for the AZL Brewers for 13 games as a pitcher in 2010. He moved to another rookie league, playing 2011 in the Pioneer League for the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, playing in 15 games. In 2012, he is up in Class A with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Midwest League, and is 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA, 13 Ks and seven walks in 11 games, as of 6-6-12. He split time in 2013 with the Brevard County Manatees in the high A Fla. State League, at the Huntsville Stars of the AA Southern League and then played in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Saquaros. Shackelford was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2015, and sent to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos for 2015-16, but finished at the AAA Louisville Bats in the International League, which is where he is for 2017.

Ryan Kiel, P, 2010, 37th round-1,122 selection, June Amateur Draft, Seattle Mariners. Kiel was sent to the Pulaski (Va.) team in the rookie Appalachian League, appearing in 13 games his first year. In 2011, he moved to the AZL Mariners in the rookie Arizona League for two games, then moved up to Class A in the Midwest League with the Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings. in 2011, Kiel moved to the Cincinnati Reds organization and started with the Dayton Dragons in the Midwest League, but more recently moved to high A in the California League’s Bakersfield Blaze. In 2012, he finished his career with Dayton and Bakersfield. In three season, Kiel was 1-3 with a 4.33 ERA, pitching 60.1 innings with 27 walks against 64 strikeouts.

Gregory Scott “Greg” Williams, P, 2011, 12th round-384th selection, June Amateur Draft, Texas Rangers. Williams signed with the Rangers and split the season in 2011, playing in 13 games in the rookie Arizona League for the AZL Rangers, then appearing in one game for Class (low) A Spokane Indians in the Northwest League. In 2012, he was sent to Class A Hickory Crawdads in the South Atlantic League after starting at the AZL team, but eventually moved up to high A with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League. In 2014, after sitting out 2013 with an injury, He played for both the Spokand and AZL team in 2014, then was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. In 2016, he played for the Daytona Tortugas of the Florida State League in high A for the Reds. In four seasons, he was 6-1 with a 4.62 ERA, and in 55 games he threw 76.0 innings with 70 strikeouts against 31 walks.

Charles Rhett Stafford, C, 2011, 22nd round-676th selection, June Amateur Draft, Oakland A’s. Stafford, a junior, was playing for West Virginia Miners in Prospect League, a college summer wooden bat league when he was drafted. The A’s sent him to the rookie Arizona League with the AZL Athletics, where he appeared in 41 games and hit .265. He got two games at the end of the year in Class A with the Stockton Ports of the California League, and is waiting on assignment for this season in extended spring training in 2012 before being cut.

Mike Mason, P, 2011, 23rd round-714th selection, June Amateur Draft, Texas Rangers. Mason returned for Marshall for his senior season.

William Issac Ballou, OF, 2011, 36th round-1,082 selection, June Amateur Draft, Pittsburgh Pirates. Ballou stayed at Marshall, and was drafted higher in 2013.

Andrew Arik Sikula, P, 2011, 36th round-1,099 selection, June Amateur Draft, Toronto Blue Jays. Sikula was assigned to the Bluefield Blue Jays in the rookie Appalachian League, and appeared in 18 games last summer. He was 1-1 with one save, a 2.97 ERA, 35 Ks and just nine walks. He played alongside former MU teammate Ian Kadish, who signed with Toronto as a free agent. Kadish was 2-3 last summer with a 2.67 ERA, 35 Ks and 11 walks. Both are expected to be with Bluefield for the start of the season June 19. In 2012, Sikula moved to the Vancouver Canadians of the Northwest League (low A), and in 2013 he was with the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest (A) League, and played for Cangrejeros de Santurce in the Puerto Rican Winter League. In 2014, he was with the Dunedin Blue Jays (Florida State League, high A), went the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the Eastern (AA) League, then headed to the Arizona Fall League with the Mesa Solar Sox, and finally played for the Caribes de Anzoatequi of the Venesuelan Winter League. He returned to New Hampshire in 2015 after a stint in Dunedin, but was released. He then signed on with the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League in 2016, played for the Adelaide Bite of the Australian Winter League and is with the Les Capitales de Quebec of the independent Canadian-America Association in 2017. In seven full years of baseball, Sikula is 18-9 in 238 games with 73 saves, 83 walks and 310 strikeouts through 2017.

Joe Church, P, 2011, 40th round-1,215th selection, June Amateur Draft, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Church was drafted as red-shirt sophomore, his third season in college and played in collegiate wooden bat summer league in Propect League with West Virginia Miners in Beckley, W.Va., alongside teammate Gray Stafford and Jesse Fernandez, before returning to Marshall for junior season.

Kenny Socorro, INF, 2011, 44th round-1,329th selection, June Amateur Draft, Chicago Cubs. Socorro was assigned to the AZL Cubs in the rookie Arizona League, but played only one game there before moving up to Boise (Idaho) Hawks in the low A Northwest League, where he played in 23 games. Socorro finished the 2011 season with ten games at Class A with the Peoria (Ill.) Chiefs, and will join the Chiefs for 2012. He was with the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League in 2013. In 37 games as a player/coach, he hit .248, slugged at .291 and was on-base with a .579 percentage. In three total seasons, he had 11 RBI and five doubles. Since 2014, Socorro moved into Player Development with the Chicago Cubs front office, and is the International Scouting Assistant with the team – winning a World Series ring for 2016 with the club.

Shane Farrell, P, 2011, 46th round-1,399th selection, June Amateur Draft, Toronto Blue Jays. Farrell was given extended spring training this year to rehab arm injury, but was cut by the Blue Jays.

Joe Anthony Church, P, 2012, 17th round-525 selection, June Amateur Draft, San Diego Padres. Church moved up 23 rounds from 40th round selection in 2011 for right-handed reliever with 90 m.p.h.+ heat. Church played for the Euguene Emeralds in the short season rookie Northwest League in 2012, moving up to the Lake Elsinore Storm in the high A California League in 2013 after games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the Midwest (A) League. In 2014, he split time between Lake Elsinore and the San Antonio Missions in the AA Texas League, and in the summer of 2015 he pitched in the Arizona Leagues’ AZL Padres trying to return from injury but was released on June 23 of ’15.

2012-17

Michael “Mike” Mason, P, 2012, 24th round-738th selection, June Amateur Draft, Colorado Rockies. Mason fell one round from 2011th selection in the 23rd round, but only 24 spots in draft for left-handed starter. He played in the rookie Pioneer League in 2012, and moved up to the Asheville Tourists in the South Atlantic League (low A) for 2013. After missing 2014 without a team, Mason played in the independent American Association in both 2015 and 2016 for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. In four seasons of pro baseball, Mason was 8-4 with a 4.38 ERA, 44 walks and 80 strikeouts.

William Issac Ballou, OF, 2013, 15th round-466th selection, June Amateur Draft, Washington Nationals. That first season, Ballou spent time with the short season Auburn Doubledays in the NY-Penn League and with the Hagerstown Suns in the low A South Atlantic League. He returned to Hagerstown in 2014, then moved up to the Potomac Nationals of the high A Carolina League and to the Harrisonburg Senators of the AA Eastern League then ended the year with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs in the International League. He spent the winter of 2015 with Indios de Mayaquez in the Puerto Rican Winter league, and spent 2016 between Harrisburg and Syracuse, and so far is with Harrisburg in 2017 in AA.

Aaron Daniel Blair, P, 2013, 1st Round-36th selection, June Amateur Draft, Arizona Diamondbacks. Blair has worked his way up to the majors, but has played for many minor league teams in his climb. He was with the Hillsboro Hops (Northwest League, low A) and South Bend Silver Hawks (Midwest A League) his first year, then played in South Bend, for the Visalia Rawhide (California League, high A) and for the Mobile BayBears (Southern League, AA). He started 2015 back at Mobile, then moved up to AAA in the Pacific Coaster League for the Reno Aces. He was traded to Atlanta in 2016, playing at the AAA level in the International League for the Gwinnett Braves (5-4), but appeared in 15 games for the Atlanta team, going 2-7, before going back to Braves of Gwinnett for more seasoning in 2016-17. He is 4-3 (June 15) with a 4.99 ERA in 11 starts.

Andrew Dundon, INF, 2015, Free Agent Signee. Dundon has played independent baseball since leaving Marshall. He was with the Garden State Grays in the Canadian-American Association in 2015, and was with both Les Capitales de Quebec and the New Jersey Jackals of the CA-AM Assoc. In 2017, he is with the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League.

Sergio Leon, INF, 2015, Free Agent Signee. Leon joined the independent American Association, playing for the Kansas City T-Bones in both 2015 and 2016. He then joined the Great Bend Boom of the independent Pecos League but returned to the AA in 2016 to play for the Joplin Blasters before being cut after 18 games at both shortstop and third.

Kolin Stanley, P, 2015, Free Agent Signee. Stanley signed with the independent Washington WildThings in the Frontier League, playing there in both 2015 and 2016. In 53 games, Stanley was 3-2 out of the pen with five saves and a 3.07 ERA. He finished with 78 strikeouts against only 20 walks.

Corey Thomas Bird, OF, 2016, 7th round-203 selection, June Amateur Draft, Miami Marlins. Bird spent 2016 with the Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League (short season rookie league). In 2017, he is with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League (low A) and recently spent a June weekend playing at Appalachian Power Park, where he played in the high school playoffs when at Herbert Hoover (Falling Rock, W.Va.) High School and as a member of the Herd in Conference USA games.

Parker Richard Danciu, P, 2016, 39th round-1,159 selection, June Amateur Draft, Atlanta Braves. Danciu spent 2016 with the Gulf Coast Braves (rookie league), going 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA. He was released on March 29 of 2017.

J.D. (John Dale) Hammer, P, 2016, 24th round-710th selection, June Amateur Draft, Colorado Rockies. Hammer spent his rookie season at Grand Junction Rockies in the Pioneer League (0-2), and was moved up to the Asheville Tourists in the South Atlantic League (low A) in 2017, where he is 4-1 so far (June of 2017).

Brandyn Bernard Sittinger, P, 2016, 17th round-505th selection, June Amateur Draft, Detroit Tigers. A Marshall signee to join the Herd for 2016, Sittenger signed with the Tigers out of Ashland (Ohio) University in the summer draft before his first semester at Marshall.

Eugene Burris Warner, P, 2016, 22nd round-655th selection, June Amateur Draft, Detroit Tigers. A righty, Warner appeared with both the Tigers West Rookie League Team in the Florida Gulf Coast League (3-1) and at Lakeland in Florida (high A) League (2-0) as rookie. He has played in 2017 at Lakeland (one game) and West Michigan in the Midwest (low A) League (one game).

Tyler Ratliff, INF/P, 2017, 17th round-524th selection, June Amateur Draft, Texas Rangers. TBA on whether Ratliff will start in the rookie short-season Arizona League with the AZL Rangers, in the Northwest League (Class A, short season) with the Spokane Indians or even with the Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League in low A.

NOTES:

2011 is the year the most Marshall players were ever drafted, with eight players going in 44 rounds, ahead of 2016 with five players drafted and 2008 when three Herd players were drafted plus signee Greg Williams, who ended up coming to MU after being drafted out of Cincinnati Moeller High School.

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

Recommended for you