06/11/2011 – Turks Tidbits
Written by Nathaniel Stoltz James Madison University The annual June MLB Draft was held last week, and five current or former Turks were selected by major league organizations.
Headlining the list was 2008 Turks pitcher Matt Chaffee, a lefthander from the University of Arizona. Following his senior season at UA, Chaffee was selected in the twelfth round by the Atlanta Braves. The relief pitcher posted a 4.85 ERA and struck out a whopping 59 batters in just 42 2/3 innings last season.
2010 Turks pitcher Kurt Wunderlich went to the Oakland Athletics in the 20th round. While Wunderlich’s time with the Turks produced uneven results (6.05 ERA), the pitcher’s 2011 season at Michigan State was smooth sailing, as he went 10-2 with a 3.19 ERA against tough Big Ten competition in his senior season.
Outfielder Ruben Sosa, a 2010 Turk, was picked by the Houston Astros in the draft’s 23rd round. Sosa hit .299 for the Turks last summer before having an explosive 2011 campaign with Oklahoma City University, batting .389, slugging .556, and striking out only 27 times all season while stealing an amazing 44 bases in 49 attempts.
Drew Granier, a pitcher for both the 2009 and 2010 Turks teams, was, like Wunderlich, selected by the Oakland Athletics. Oakland’s 32nd-round pick, Granier was the ace of the Turks rotation in 2009 and 2010, posting ERAs below 3.00 and striking out over a batter per inning in both seasons. His four-year career at the University of Louisiana-Monroe also had numerous bright spots, including 86 strikeouts in 86 innings with a 4.60 ERA and only four home runs allowed in 2011. Granier looks to be another in a long line of late-round college draftees by the A’s who meet with considerable professional success.
Current Turk Mac Williamson, the team’s everyday cleanup hitter, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 40th round. Williamson, who has already bashed two home runs in the young 2011 summer campaign, is coming off an impressive year with Wake Forest as a redshirt sophomore. He led the Demon Deacons in batting average (.273), home runs (12), RBI (49), and total bases (101) in the extremely tough ACC.
Congratulations to all five players on being included in the select group of 1500 that was picked! It’s always great to see former players able to pursue their professional dreams.