BSB | Four Gaels Taken In 2018 MLB Draft
The Saint Mary's baseball program tied a program record Wednesday with four players being selected in the 2018 MLB Draft
MLB Draft Tracker
NEW YORK — The Saint Mary’s baseball program tied a program record Wednesday with four players selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft, including two pitchers taken in the top-20 rounds and two graduated seniors being picked.
Saint Mary’s junior right-handed pitchers Nick Frank and Conner Loeprich were both selected Wednesday. Frank was picked in the 15th round by the Los Angeles Angels as the 451st overall selection. Loeprich went in the 20th round to the Pittsburgh Pirates as the 594th overall pick.
Graduated seniors Jackson Thoreson and Austin Piscotty were also chosen in Wednesday’s draft. Thoreson went to the New York Yankees in the 26th round, the 787th overall pick. Piscotty was chosen by the Oakland Athletics in the 38th round as the 1,133rd selection. His older brother, Stephen, currently plays for the A’s.
GAELS IN THE DRAFT
The Gaels’ four draft picks on Wednesday were tied for the most in a single year at Saint Mary’s, marking the seventh time in program history four Gaels have been taken (according to http://www.baseball-reference.com). It was the second time in just the last three years that occurred after four Gaels (Corbin Burnes, Nate Nolan, Anthony Gonsolin, Anthony Villa) were also taken in the 2016 MLB Draft. The first time SMC had four players taken in a single year was 1984.
Over the past three seasons (since 2016), Saint Mary’s has had 10 players drafted, including six juniors. Eight of those players have been drafted in the top-20 rounds, five of them have been taken in the top-10 rounds, and three in the top-five rounds.
Frank was part of the three-headed monster that made up Saint Mary’s dominating starting rotation this spring. He went 5-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 14 starts after transferring to the Gaels from San Joaquin Delta College. Frank had no problem finding the strike zone in 2018, recording 85 strikeouts (second on the team) against just 16 walks in 83 innings pitched. He finished the regular season ranked among the nation’s top-100 in strikeouts-to-walks ratio (40th, 5.31) and walks allowed per nine innings (71st, 1.73).
Loeprich has been a versatile pitcher for the Gaels in his three seasons in Moraga. In his sophomore year of 2017 he spent time in the Gaels’ weekend rotation, going 6-2 with a career-best 4.15 ERA and a 3-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (36-10). This season he became the Gaels’ go-to midweek starter while also making important appearances out of the bullpen. He didn’t allow a run in 10 of his 19 appearances this spring while
Thoreson was named to the all-West Coast Conference Second Team this year after posting the best offensive season of his career. He batted a career-best .288 with career highs in doubles (15), RBIs (41), slugging percentage (.516), on-base percentage (.407), and a career-high-tying nine home runs. He led the Gaels in all of those offensive categories while also twice being named WCC Player of the Week. Five of his nine home runs tied the game or gave the Gaels the lead.
Piscotty received WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention accolades this season after playing in 42 of the team’s 54 games and starting 23 of them. After starting at third base on Opening Day, he moved back into the starting lineup on April 13 and stayed there for the rest of the year. The Gaels went on a 12-4 run from April 13-May 5 that got them back in the WCC race with Piscotty in the starting lineup. He hit three home runs from the nine-hole in the order, including a solo shot on April 13 at San Diego.
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