MLB Draft Day 2: Track the selections of local prospects

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 1:43pm

Pitcher Caleb Cotham became the second Vanderbilt player selected in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft.

Cotham, from Mt. Juliet, went in the fifth round (165th overall) to the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

The third-year sophomore was the Commodores’ Saturday starter most of the season before a knee injury sent him temporarily to the bullpen. His last appearance was a four-hit shutout (he struck out eight and walked none) of Middle Tennessee State in an NCAA regional elimination contest.

He finished the season with a 7-5 record (he led the team in wins) with a 4.10 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched.

The last Commodore drafted by the Yankees was relief pitcher Ryan Rote, who was picked in the 37th round in 2004.


Vanderbilt’s Nick Christiani went to the Cincinnati Reds in the 13th round (389th overall).

He was 6-6 in 2009 and was third on the team with 10 starts, including one each in the SEC and NCAA tournaments. He won 20 games for his career and improved his strikeout total every season, capped by a career-high 69 (in 68.1 innings) this spring.

One of two seniors on the team, the right-hander was a 32nd-round selection by the Cleveland Indians a year ago when he was 6-3 with 4.97 ERA.


Outfielder Steven Liddle became the fourth Vanderbilt player (the first position player) when the Minnesota Twins took him in the 15th round (462nd overall).

The third-year sophomore from Franklin has an uncle, Steve, who is a bench coach for the Twins.

Liddle led the Commodores with 22 doubles and a .572 slugging percentage in 2009. He also tied for the team lead with 10 home runs and was second with a .348 batting average.

He was a second-team All-SEC selection.

Minnesota has drafted three Commodores in the last five years, all in the 15th round or higher. Dominic de la Osa was an 11th-round choice last year, and Ryan Mullins was a third-round pick in 2005.


Infielder Daniel Wagner became the first Belmont player drafted when the Chicago White Sox chose him in the 16th round (493rd overall).

A junior, Wagner hit .323 and stole a team-high 24 bases (in 28 attempts). He also had 10 home runs.

His selection made it three straight years at least one Belmont player has been picked. The last time that was the case was 1982-84.


The run on Vanderbilt pitchers continued when Drew Hayes was the second pick of the 22nd round (653rd overall) by the Seattle Mariners.

Hayes, a junior who played one year at Bethel College before he transferred to Vanderbilt, spent time as both a starter and a reliever with the Commodores.

He was 4-3 this season with a a 5.56 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. He appeared in 18 games, six of them starts.

Following his career at McKenzie High School, which included a TSSAA Class A championship, he was a 29th-round pick of Arizona in 2006.


Vanderbilt has had two members of its 2009 recruiting class picked through the first two days (30 rounds) of the draft.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim chose pitcher Sam Selman, of St. Andrews Episcopal School (Texas), in the 14th round (441st overall). First baseman Regan Flaherty, the younger brother of former Commodores’ shortstop Ryan Flaherty, was a 28th-round pick (833rd overall) by Seattle out Deering (Maine) High School.

The Commodores had five freshmen on this year’s team who were selected in the top 30 rounds out of high school led by third baseman Jason Esposito, who was a seventh-round pick by Kansas City.


The draft will conclude Thursday with rounds 31 through 50, or until teams cease making selections.

Picks begin at 10:30 a.m. (CDT).