Three Vanderbilt players taken on final day of MLB draft

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 10:29pm
Staff reports

Three Vanderbilt players were drafted on Wednesday — including two to the same team — as seven area college products were selected on the final day of the MLB draft.

The Detroit Tigers selected Commodores pitcher Will Clinard and center fielder Connor Harrell. Right fielder Mike Yastrzemski went to the Seattle Mariners.

Clinard was taken in the 18th round — 12 rounds higher than 2011 when the Minnesota Twins took him. The redshirt junior from Cross Plans opted to come back for one more year. Clinard, who graduated in May, had a 4.64 ERA and 7-2 record in 27 appearances this spring.

Harrell, a right-handed hitter from Houston, was drafted in the 31st round. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior led the Commodores with seven home runs in 2012 but hit just .247. In the last two drafts, the Tigers have taken five Vanderbilt players, including three this year.

Yastrzemski, the grandson of Hall of Famer and Boston Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski was taken in the 30th round. This past season, the junior from Andover, Mass., batted .276 and drove in 38 runs — second most on the team. A total of six Vanderbilt players were taken in the draft — half of the SEC record 12 taken last year.

Of the local standouts taken on Wednesday, Middle Tennessee State pitcher Hunter Adkins was the highest drafted. The right-handed pitcher from Signal Mountain, Tenn., was taken in the 18th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. The junior was 5-6 with a 5.75 ERA this spring.

Lipscomb left-hander Christopher Nunn went to the San Diego Padres in the 24th round. The 6-foot-5 junior reliever from Memphis struck out 40 in 41 innings. He was 1-3 in 15 appearances with a 5.27 ERA.

Austin Peay State had a pair of recent graduates drafted. Left-handed pitcher Zach Toney was taken in the 26th round by the Chicago White Sox. The D’Iberville, Miss., native was 5-3 with a 3.10 ERA, earning All-Ohio Valley Conference first team honors.

Outfielder Michael Blanchard was selected in the 30th round by the San Francisco Giants. The 5-foot-11, 178-pounder from Memphis hit .290 and started all 61 games this spring.