Three KU Baseball Signees Drafted by Major League Clubs

June 8, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three Kansas baseball signees were drafted earlier this week by Major League organizations in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Infielder Thomas Mirabelli (Pittsburgh, 28th Round), right-handed pitcher Hayden Edwards (Kansas City, 31st Round) and left-handed pitcher Tyler Watson (Washington, 37th Round) were all selected Wednesday on the final day of the draft.

All three players have until July 13 to sign with the club which drafted them, otherwise they will enroll at KU and play for the Jayhawks beginning in 2013.

Mirabelli, a 5-foot-8 infielder from Rocky River, Ohio, was named Northeast Ohio Rookie of the Year in 2010, helping St. Edwards High School to a state championship. He hit .450 last year as a senior and batted over .400 for his high school career. He is the son of Cleveland Indians Vice President John Mirabelli. He was selected with the 856th overall pick by the Pirates.

“I sort of gave a jump for joy when I heard my name called,” said Mirabelli, who said he listened to the draft online at his home. “Not many people have the opportunity to get drafted, especially out of high school. Even if I don’t end up signing, that’s a really big confidence boost for me going forward.”

Edwards, a 6-foot-9 right-handed pitcher from Shawnee Mission, Kan., was the No. 1 ranked high school player from the state of Kansas according to Perfect Game USA. As a junior, Edwards earned all-state honors in both baseball and football, helping Blue Valley High School to the 2010 5A state football championship. Edwards led Blue Valley to a state runner up finish last month in the 5A baseball championship. He was drafted by his hometown Royals with the 943rd overall selection.

“I listened to the draft on the second day and was really anxious,” Edwards said of how he learned that he had been drafted. “I was actually playing in a Kansas high school all-star game Wednesday when one of my friends texted me ‘You’re the Man,’ and then I saw my dad come running down to the dugout.”

“I know wherever I go, whether I sign now or go to KU, I’ll be able to reach my goals of playing in the major leagues. I really love KU, both my parents went to school there, so I’ve been to Lawrence a million times. I would be comfortable playing there for a few years and getting drafted again.”

Watson, a 6-foot left-handed pitcher from Georgetown, Texas, was also a two-sport star in high school, earning all-state honors as a pitcher for the baseball team and as a kicker for the Georgetown High School football team. He pitched for the Premier Baseball national champions this past summer, posting a 7-1 record on the mound and started the championship game for the D-Bat Mustangs. Tyler’s father, Gene Watson, is also the Coordinator of Professional Scouting with the Kansas City Royals. He was drafted with the 1,134th overall pick by the Nationals.

“I had actually given up listening to the draft,” said Watson. “I had gone to get a smoothie with one of my friends when my dad called me and told me the news. It was a pretty exciting moment.”

While he has until July, Watson said he has already made up his mind and plans to play at KU next season.

“I really got along well with the coaching staff when I went on my visit,” he said. “I love Coach Price and I can’t wait to play for him.”

Kansas finished the 2012 season two weeks ago, defeating nationally ranked Texas and Texas A&M at the Big 12 Baseball Championship. The Jayhawks ended the year at 24-34, but won five of their last nine games.