6/14/05 – Texas A&M Athletics
Five Aggies Taken in MLB Draft For Immediate Release Tuesday, June 7, 2005 Toolbox COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Highlighted by Cliff Pennington’s first-round selection, five Texas A&M baseball players were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday and Wednesday. Pennington, a junior shortstop from Corpus Christi, Texas, became the first A&M first-rounder since pitcher Chance Caple was taken by St. Louis in 1999. Aggie Pitcher Zach Jackson was taken in the supplemental segment of last year’s draft between the first and second rounds. “I am thrilled and honored to be a first-round draft pick, especially from a classy organization like the Oakland Athletics,” said Pennington. “I have really enjoyed my time at Texas A&M, but I am excited at the possibility of moving on to professional baseball. I have always loved the game of baseball and it has been a life-long dream to play professionally.” He was the second player taken from the Big 12 Conference as Nebraska infielder Alex Gordon was taken second overall by the Kansas City Royals. The switch-hitting, slick-fielding shortstop earned first-team All-Big honors and the Aggies’ Most Valuable Player award. He led the Aggies in 12 offensive categories in 2005, hitting .363 with seven home runs and 39 RBI. Pennington was a career .345 hitter at A&M, driving in 115 runs and swiping 53 bases. Kevin Whelan, a junior from Kerrville, Texas, was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round with the 120th overall pick. Whelan began his pitching career late as he signed at Texas A&M as a catcher and saw limited action on the mound as a sophomore. In 2005, he was 4-1 with four saves, striking out 40 batters in 31 innings on the mound. “It is like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Whelan said. “I am ready to get out there and play. I was not expecting to get selected by the Tigers, but look forward to the opportunity of playing professional baseball for a storied organization.” Robert Ray, a junior from Lufkin, Texas, was taken by the Toronto BlueJays in the seventh round with the 206th overall pick. The hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher was mainstay on the mound for the Aggies the past three years. In three seasons, he compiled a record of 8-6 and averaged over a strikeout an inning, fanning 155 batters in 146 innings of work. Kyle Marlatt, a senior from Enid, Okla., was drafted in the 12th round by the Florida Marlins with the 366th overall pick. The right-handed pitcher was a solid contributor as a starter and reliever in his two seasons at Texas A&M. He accumulated a record of 9-4 in his 34 appearances for the Aggies. Aggie first baseman Coby Mavroulis, a junior from Abilene, Texas, was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 624th overall pick in the 21st round. He was drafted as a left-handed pitcher although he did not see action on the mound for the Aggies. In addition to Pennington, Whelan, Ray, Marlatt and Mavroulis, left-handed pitcher and A&M signee Aaron Thompson, from Second Baptist High School in Houston, was selected by the Florida Marlins in the first round with the 22nd pick.