June 3, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Eight Arizona State University baseball players were selected by Major League teams today on the first day of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft. The first 20 rounds were completed today and the final 30 will be chosen tomorrow, beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT.
Junior outfielder Andre Ethier (2nd rd., Oakland Athletics), senior pitcher Beau Vaughan (3rd rd., Boston Red Sox), junior DH/C Jeremy West (7th rd., Boston Red Sox), junior second baseman Steve Garrabrants (9th rd., Arizona Diamondbacks), junior closer Ryan Schroyer (11th rd., Minnesota Twins), senior left-handed reliever Bryce Kartler (11th rd., New York Yankees), senior pitcher Robbie McClellan (12th rd., Kansas City Royals) and senior pitcher Ben Thurmond (15th rd., San Francisco Giants) were all taken in the first day of the annual amateur draft.
Ethier (Phoenix, Ariz.) was the first Sun Devil taken with the 62nd overall pick in the draft and was taken for the second time by the A's after they selected him in the 37th round in 2001 out of Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Ethier was named First-Team All-Pac-10 and was selected to last weekends Tempe Regional All-Tournament team. In the midst of a career-high 20-game hitting streak, Ethier enters the super regional with Cal State Fullerton this weekend hitting .373 (93-for-249) with 12 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 66 RBI. The St. Mary's graduate started 64 of ASU's 65 games, with 37 in right field and 27 in center field.
The Boston Red Sox drafted Vaughan (Glendale, Ariz.) with the 84th overall selection in the third round. The senior right-hander is 10-5 in 2003 and is ranked second in the Pac-10 with 105 strikeouts. Selected previously in the 39th round of the 1999 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins, Vaughan played at Phoenix College, South Mountain CC and New Orleans before becoming a top pitching prospect for ASU this year. Vaughan has recorded five games with eight or more strikeouts and is 2-0 in his last two starts against Arizona and New Mexico State, earning All-Tournament honors in the NCAA Regional last weekend.
The Red Sox took another Sun Devil in the seventh round, choosing catcher/designated hitter Jeremy West (Las Vegas) with the 204th overall pick in the draft. West has been one ASU's hottest hitters late in the season with a current 21-game hitting streak and is hitting .384 (73-for-190) overall with eight doubles, 17 home runs and 71 RBI. West was not drafted out of high school when he was a star infielder and catcher at Silverado High School in Las Vegas.
Garrabrants (Phoenix) was taken by his hometown team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the 279th overall pick in the ninth round. The junior second baseman is hitting .333 (69-for-207) with nine home runs (including three grand slams), 16 doubles and 23 stolen bases. Garrabrants increased his stock greatly in his three years as a Sun Devil, improving from a 42nd round selection by the Minnesota Twins out of Moon Valley High School to a ninth round choice on Tuesday.
Two Sun Devil pitchers were selected in the 11th round. Schroyer was the 328th overall pick in the draft by the Minnesota Twins. Schroyer (Casa Grande, Ariz.) is having another great season out of the bullpen, going 5-2 with eight saves and a 1.61 ERA. The hard-throwing right-hander has struck out 50 in 44.2 IP and over the last two years as ASU's closer has a 1.58 ERA and 16 saves in 85.2 innings. Schroyer was selected for the second time in his career, improving from a 16th round selection by the Detroit Tigers out of Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson.
Kartler (Phoenix, Ariz.) joined Schroyer in the 11th round after being selected with the 334th overall pick by the New York Yankees. Kartler is a four-year letterman for the Sun Devils, playing both pitcher, outfield and serving time as a designated hitter. In 24 appearances this year, Kartler is 0-0 with a 5.03 ERA in 19.2 innings. In his last 21 appearances, Kartler has a 1.06 ERA giving up just two runs and has struck out 20 in 17.0 innings. The selection was the third of his career, improving from a 20th round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001 and a 48th round selection by the Cleveland Indians last year.
McClellan (Liberal, Kan.) stayed close to home with his 12th round selection by the Kansas City Royals. The senior right-handed pitcher has been solid for the Sun Devils in his two years as both a starter and a reliever. In 2003, McClellan is 7-0 with a 3.40 ERA. He ranked fourth in the Pac-10 with 91 strikeouts in 2002 and over his two years with ASU is 14-6 with a 4.24 ERA. McClellan was not drafted out of high school (Liberal HS) or Seward County CC.
Thurmond became the last of the eight Sun Devils to have their name called in the first 20 rounds on Tuesday. The senior right-hander has become one of ASU's best starters down the stretch, earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors after going 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 2003. The senior transfer from Winthrop has struck out 57 in 74.0 innings and has limited opposing hitters to a .254 batting average. Thurmond improved nine rounds from his 24th round selection by the Chicago Cubs in the 2002 draft.
As a whole, the eight selections represent another productive draft day for Arizona State. Last year ASU had only three players selected in the draft, but in the four previous years (1998-2001) the Devils have had eight or more players selected. The eight picks in the first 20 rounds are the most by a Pat Murphy coached squad, with the previous best being six in 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2001.
Several other draft-eligible ASU players -- most notably draft-eligible sophomore pitcher Mark Sopko, junior outfielder Rod Allen, senior pitcher Jered Liebeck, and seenior third baseman Dennis Wyrick-- will wait until Wednesday to see if they'll be selected in the draft's final 30 rounds.
Arizona State (53-12) will continue its quest for a 19th trip to Omaha and the College World Series this weekend with the best-of-three super regional against Cal State Fullerton. The Sun Devils and Titans open the series Friday at 4:05 p.m. at Goodwin Field. The game will be televised as part of ESPN's Grand Slam package on pay-per-view basis.
|Andre Ethier, OF||Oakland A's||2nd||62|
|Beau Vaughan, RHP||Boston Red Sox||3rd||84|
|Jeremy West, C/DH||Boston Red Sox||7th||204|
|Steve Garrabrants, 2B||Arizona Diamondbacks||9th||279|
|Ryan Schroyer, RHP||Minnesota Twins||11th||328|
|Bryce Kartler, LHP||New York Yankees||11th||334|
|Robbie McClellan, RHP||Kansas City Royals||12th||342|
|Ben Thurmond, RHP||San Francisco Giants||15th||453|