2 Vanderbilt baseball players picked in first round of MLB draft - WSMV News 4

2 Vanderbilt baseball players picked in first round of MLB draft

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Two Vanderbilt baseball players were selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Monday.

Junior pitcher Kyle Wright was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Atlanta Braves while junior outfielder Jeren Kendall was picked 23rd overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wright, a native of Huntsville, AL, is the 86th Commodore pitcher selected in the draft and the 12th to be taken in the first round.

He struck out 121 batters in 103-1/3 innings pitched while allowing opponents to hit just .216 en route to earning All-America and first team All-SEC honors.

Kendall, a junior from Holmen, WI, is the highest drafted outfielder in school history. He is the first outfielder from the school drafted in the first round.

Kendall was named first team All-SEC and third team All-America honors from Baseball America after hitting 15 home runs for Vanderbilt this season.

With Wright and Kendall’s first round selections, it is the fifth time in program history for multiple players to be selected in the first round. They are the 13th and 14th first round picks for Vanderbilt under current head coach Tim Corbin.

Vanderbilt produced two first round picks previously in 2007, 2008, 2011 and a program record three first round picks in 2015.

Former Brentwood High pitcher Will Gaddis, who played collegiately at Furman, was picked in the third round by the Colorado Rockies.

Gaddis was Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year for Furman in 2016 and was selected to the league's All-Conference team in 2017 after going 9-3 with a 1.83 ERA.

According to MLB.com, scouts love his competitive demeanor and he has all the ingredients to become an effective No. 4 starter.

On Tuesday, two more Vanderbilt players were picked in the fourth round along with Lipscomb outfielder Michael Gigliotti were selected.

Vanderbilt third baseman Will Toffey was picked with the 111th pick by the Oakland Athletics and catcher Jason Delay was selected 118th by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Toffey started from Day 1 for the Commodores, playing on the 2015 College World Series runner-up team. He was picked in the 25th round by the Orioles last year but returned to Vanderbilt for his junior season. He led the Southeastern Conference in walks with 46 and was second in on-base percentage (.472) heading into the NCAA playoffs.

Delay has handled an outstanding pitching staff anchored this season by Wright and Patrick Raby.

Gigliotti was picked by the Kansas City Royals with the 120th selection.

He had a break-out summer last year in the Cape Cod League. He reached base safely in 32 straight games to close out his junior season.

Middle Tennessee shortstop Riley Delgado was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the ninth round with the 260th overall pick.

Two University of Tennessee players have been drafted through the first 10 rounds. Senior third baseman Jordan Rodgers was picked in the sixth round with the 170th overall pick by the Braves while redshirt junior pitcher Kyle Serrano, son of former UT coach Dave Serrano, was tabbed in the 10th round by the Houston Astros with the 301st pick.

Eleven collegiate players with area ties have been selected on the third day of the draft on Wednesday.

Former Riverdale High School teammates Collin Snider and Brady Puckett were both selected on Day 3.

Snider, who pitched at Vanderbilt, was picked in the 12th round by Kansas City. He appeared in 21 games during the 2017 season, posting a 3-2 record with a 5.40 ERA. He struck out 29 batters and walked 16 in 33-1/3 innings of work.

Puckett, who pitched at Lipscomb, was selected in the 15th round by the Miami Marlins. Puckett was the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore in 2016. He followed up with an 8-6 record as a junior with a 4.10 ERA in 15 starts. He struck out 70 and walked 23 batters in 101 innings of work.

Reed Hayes, a Vanderbilt pitcher, was selected in the 13th round by the Baltimore Orioles. He appeared in 21 games for the Commodores. He posted a 0-2 record with a 5.75 ERA while recording 25 strikeouts and 13 walks in 20-1/3 innings of work.

Matt Ruppenthal, a Vanderbilt pitcher, was picked in the 17th round by the Houston Astros. He appeared in 21 games, starting four, for the Commodores in 2017. He posted a 3-3 record and three saves. He struck out 45 and walked 19 in 54 innings of work. He pitched six scoreless innings in Vanderbilt’s region-clinching win over Clemson.

Hunter Martin, a senior right-handed pitcher at Tennessee, was selected in the 20th round by the Astros. Martin, who played high school baseball at Blackman High in Murfreesboro, made 14 starts for the Volunteers in 2017, posted a 5-7 record with a 3.59 ERA. He struck out 89 batters and walked 16 in 92-2/3 innings of work.

Former Franklin High standout Nick Hutchins was picked in the 27th round by Kansas City. The Southern Illinois-Carbondale catcher was nominated for the Johnny Bench Award given to the top collegiate junior. He was a four-year starter at Franklin and played in 56 games this season for SIU.

Austin Peay utility player Alex Robles was picked by Minnesota in the 30th round of the draft. Robles was first team All-OVC for two seasons and earned second team honors twice. He was also named to the OVC All-Tournament Team in 2017. He was the first player in league history to receive five All-OVC awards during their career. He hit .347 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI for the Governors while also posting a 6-8 record with 3 saves on the mound. The Twins drafted him as a pitcher.

Cody Puckett was tabbed by Oakland in the 30th round. The MTSU left-hander was 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA in 2017 with 71 strike outs and 37 walks in 58-2/3 innings of work. Puckett played high school at DeKalb County High before attending Columbia State Community College.

Belmont’s Tyler Walsh was selected in the 33rd round by Anaheim. The Angels listed Walsh as a pitch, but he made only one error in 147 chances in the outfield and led the Bruins with 22 stolen bases while hitting .249.

Vanderbilt outfielder Ro Coleman was picked in the 34th round of the draft by the Detroit Tigers. Coleman hit .290 as a senior for the Commodores with seven stolen bases. As a freshman, Coleman helped Vanderbilt win the College World Series in 2014. 

Lipscomb right-hander Jeffrey Passantino was the last pick of the draft in the 40th round by the Chicago Cubs.

Passantino, who along with Brady Puckett helped the Bison to the 2015 Atlantic Sun Championship and NCAA appearance, was 4-3 in 2017 with a 3.09 ERA. He struck out 95 batters in 96 innings of work and walked only nine hitters.

Martin was one of three Tennessee players picked on the final day of the draft. Left-hander Zach Warren was picked in the 14th round by Philadelphia while second baseman Jeff Moberg was selected in the 30th round by Colorado.

Track the Major League Baseball draft

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