Sixteen Current & Former Woodchucks Picked in MLB Draft - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sixteen Current & Former Woodchucks Picked in MLB Draft


WAUSAU (Press Release) - Sixteen current and former Wisconsin Woodchucks were selected over the three-day 2011 MLB first-year player draft. 

Name                  Round    Overall  W/ Chucks           Team
Chris Reed             1             16          2009           LA Dodgers
Jonas Dufek           9            280         2009           Houston Astros
Chad Wright          9            287         2009            Detroit Tigers
Cody Koback        10           322         2009            Boston Red Sox
Jerad Eickhoff       15           474         2010            Texas Rangers
Mitchell Beacom    20           627         2010            San Francisco Giants
Khayyan Norfork   23           697         2009           Washington Nationals
Brian Sharp          24           772         2010            Pittsburgh Pirates
Tyler Nurdin          28           484         2011            Cleveland Indians
Michael Marshall   30           931         2009            Philadelphia Phillies
Sharif Othman      32           973         2010            Florida Marlins
Kevin Pillar           32           979         2010             Toronto Blue Jays
Brock Stassi         33          1021        2010             Philadelphia Phillies
Travis Whitmore   35          1074    2009-2010       San Diego Padres
Chad Pierce         38           1151        2007            Milwaukee Brewers
Sam Wolff            47           1432        2010            Boston Red Sox

Chris Reed, a left-handed pitcher for the Stanford Cardinal and former Wisconsin Woodchuck, was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday night, as the 16 overall pick in the 2011 MLB first-year player draft. 

Reed made a brief stint with the Woodchucks early in 2009 season, and is the first Woodchuck to be drafted in the first round since Lance Broadway was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2004.

At 6-foot-4, the southpaw can reach speeds of up to 94 MPH with his fastball, and features two plus breaking pitches.  The early word is that the Dodgers see Reed, who pitched mostly as a reliever for the Cardinal, as a starter in the long-term.

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.

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.

Brian Sharp, a key 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 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. 

Sharif Othman, the Woodchucks' primary catcher in 2010, was selected in the 32 round by the Florida Marlins, with the 973 overall pick.  A senior for the Cal Baptist Lancers, the NAIA Pre-Season All American hit .275, with six homeruns, 32 RBI, and threw out 22 of 32 would-be base stealers.  Othman hit .237 with the ‘Chucks last season, four home runs, and 21 RBI, while doubling as a brick wall behind home plate. 

Kevin Pillar, who started 69 of 70 games in centerfield for the ‘Chucks in 2010, was also chosen in the 32 round — with the 979 overall pick — by the Toronto Blue Jays. The NCAA Division II star centerfielder hit .369 with 6 home runs and 36 RBI— while smacking 21 doubles for the CS- Dominguez Hills Toros this spring. 

Brock Stassi, who starred both as a pitcher and an outfielder for the Woodchucks in 2010, was selected as an outfielder in round 33 by the Philadelphia Phillies, with the 1021 overall pick.  After being selected the WAC Pitcher of the Year in 2010, Stassi refocused his efforts to the field, hitting an impressive .360, with 19 doubles and 34 RBI this spring.

Travis Whitmore, the Woodchucks' outstanding infielder from the 2009 and 2010 seasons, went in the 35 round to the San Diego Padres, with the 1074 overall pick.  Whitmore hit .336, with four home runs and 41 RBI this spring for the Pittsburgh Panthers, after hitting .305 and playing in 62 games for the ‘Chucks last summer. 

Pierce, a UW-Milwaukee pitcher who played for the Woodchucks in 2007, was selected in the 38 round by the Milwaukee Brewers, with the 1151 overall pick.  The Fond du Lac, Wisc., native posted a 3.44 ERA with a 6—4 record in 2011, while also hitting .269 with six RBI this spring for the Panthers.

After transferring from San Diego to Southern Nevada, Sam Wolff, a 2010 Woodchucks pitcher, was selected in the 47 round — with the 1432 overall pick — by the Boston Red Sox.  Wolff went 6—4 with a 4.48 ERA in 2011.


Courtesy: Woodchucks Press Release

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