WAUSAU (Press Release) - After 2009 Woodchuck Chris Reed was taken 16 overall on Monday night, rounds nine and 10 of the 2011 MLB first-year player draft proved to be fruitful for Woodchucks alumni Tuesday, as Jonas Dufek, Chad Wright and Cody Koback were selected.
Dufek, a senior from Creighton University, was selected in the ninth round — 280 overall — to the Houston Astros. The big righty pitched for the Woodchucks in 2009, after his sophomore season had concluded. At six-foot-five, the 210 pound then-sophomore went 1—1 with a 6.62 ERA, over 17.2 innings pitched.
In his senior season, Dufek was the Jays' ace, going a dominating 12—1, with a 2.08 ERA over 112.2 innings pitched. Posting 128 strikeouts to only 29 walks, Dufek held hitters to a .198 batting average.
Chad Wright, the ‘Chucks primary centerfielder from the '09 season, also went in the ninth round — 287 overall — to the Detroit Tigers.
Joining the ‘Chucks following his freshman season at the University of Kentucky, Wright hit .300, with three home runs and 20 RBI, over 60 games played. At 5-foot-10, the 195-pound lefty hit .359, while leading the Wildcats in hits, triples, and stolen bases in his junior season this spring.
UW-Stevens Point's Cody Koback, another member of the ‘Chucks '09 squad, went in round 10 — 322 overall — to the Boston Red Sox.
A native of Stevens Point, Wisc., Koback tore up the WIAC in his junior season— hitting for a .424 average with seven triples, eight home runs, 47 RBI, and 16 stolen bases. While also making nine starts on the mound, Koback went 6—1 with 3.26 ERA, over 58 innings pitched.
Jerad Eickhoff and Mitchell Beacom were drafted Tuesday afternoon in the 2011 MLB first-year player draft, representing the fifth and sixth former Woodchucks to be drafted— and the first members of the 2010 Woodchucks squad to be selected.
Eickhoff, who just completed his sophomore season at Olney Central College in southeastern Illinois, was drafted in round 15 — 474 overall — to the Texas Rangers. Eickhoff, who signed a letter of intent to play for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers of the Sun Belt Conference for next fall, struck out 116 batters in only 88.2 innings at Olney Central in 2011— on his way to a 10—4 record and a 2.44 ERA.
Last summer, Eickhoff appeared in 16 games for the Woodchucks, going 3-2 with a 6.69 ERA. Eickhoff also picked up the win in the Woodchucks' playoff victory over the Eau Claire Express on Aug. 17, 2010.
Mitchell Beacom, who just completed his redshirt junior season at UCLA, was taken in round 20 — 627 overall — to the San Francisco Giants.
Beacom, a 6-foot-8, 260 pound side-armed southpaw, was a primary reliever on a loaded Bruin's pitching staff— posting a 2.20 ERA with 38 strikeouts, in 32.2 innings pitched.
Making 15 relief appearances for the Woodchucks in 2010, Beacom went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in 29.0 innings pitched, collecting 32 strikeouts and 11 walks— dazzling Woodchucks fans with his unique delivery and imposing stature.
Both Beacom and Eickhoff were drafted in 2010, with Eickhoff going in round 46 to the Chicago Cubs, and Beacom going to the Royals in round 36.
Four more Woodchucks were chosen in rounds 21 through 30 of the 2011 MLB first-year player draft, as Brain Sharp, Khayyan Norfork, Tyler Nurdin, and Michael Marshall were selected.
Brian Sharp, a member of the 2010 Woodchucks' playoff run and Cal Baptist shortstop, was the first selection in round 24, going 772 overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Recently named an NAIA All-American, Sharp hit .352 with 10 home runs, 48 RBI, and 31 stolen bases this past spring.
Sharp hit .294 with 13 RBI in 30 games with the ‘Chucks last season, while flashing impressive big-play ability in the field.
Khayyan Norfork, a middle infielder at the University of Tennessee, went in round 23 — 697 overall — to the Washington Nationals. A member of the 2009 ‘Chucks squad, Jackson joined the ‘Chucks after completing his career at Jackson State Community College.
Finishing his collegiate career at Tennessee, Norfork completed his senior season with a .332 average, 37 RBI, and an impressive .913 OPS.
Tyler Nurdin, a 6-foot-3 southpaw from Temple College in Texas, was selected in round 28 — 848 overall — to the Cleveland Indians.
Nurdin, the first member of the 2011 Woodchucks to be drafted, made his first Northwoods League appearance on Monday night, allowing no runs in three innings of work. The freshman lefty went 5—4 with a 2.14 ERA in 67 innings pitched at Temple College this spring.
Selected in round 30, with the 931 overall pick, was Michael Marshall, a member of the 2009 Woodchucks and first baseman from Lubbock Christian University.
In 33 games in 2009, Marshall hit .203 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI, while throwing 11 innings on the mound.
With four players drafted in rounds 21—30, the 30-round total rises to 10 current and former Woodchucks selected in 2011, with 20 rounds still remaining on Wednesday.
Sharp, Norfork, Nurdin and Marshall join Chris Reed, Jonas Dufek, Chad Wright, Cody Koback, Jerad Eickhoff, and Mitchell Beacom.
Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release