Seven Jayhawks Selected in MLB First-Year Player Draft

June 9, 2010

Blankenship Draft Interview

Heere Draft Interview


A record seven Jayhawks were selected by major league organizations during the final two days of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. The seven student-athletes taken by Major League organizations tops the six Jayhawks drafted in 2006, 1998, 1994 and 1993.

Junior third baseman Tony Thompson (sixth round, Oakland), senior second baseman Robby Price (13th round, Tampa Bay), junior right-handed pitcher Brett Bochy (20th round, San Francisco), senior right-handed pitcher Travis Blankenship (31st round, Houston), junior outfielder Brian Heere (41st round, Cleveland), and T.J. Walz (50th round, Oakland) were all taken by Major League organizations Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thompson, a junior infielder from Reno, Nev., was drafted with the 185th overall pick by the Oakland A’s. Thompson hit .338 with 10 doubles, six homers and 38 RBIs in 40 games. This came on the heels of an All-American season for Thompson, which saw him hit .389 with 21 homers, 82 RBIs and a .753 slugging percentage as a sophomore.

Price, a senior second baseman Lawrence, Kan., was taken with the 401st overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. He enjoyed a career year in 2010, batting .351 with highs in doubles (19), homers (six), runs (67), RBIs (49) and slugging percentage (.557). He became the first Jayhawk to be named Big 12 Player of the Week three times in the same season.

Bochy, a junior right-handed pitcher from Poway, Calif., was taken with the 618th overall pick by the San Francisco Giants. Bochy put up impressive numbers over the first half of the 2010 season. He went 2-0 for the Jayhawks in 12 relief appearances posting a 0.78 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 23 innings and collecting a team-high five saves. However, he underwent Tommy John surgery on April 8 and missed the final two months of the season.

Selik, a senior right-handed pitcher from San Diego, Calif., was taken with the 656th overall selection by the Washington Nationals. He went 6-4 in 15 starts for the Jayhawks this season with a 5.06 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings. Selik earned wins in his first four starts of the season, becoming the first Jayhawk pitcher to accomplish this since Pete Smart opened the 2000 with six-straight wins.

Blankenship, a left-handed pitcher from Lawrence, Kan., was drafted with the 933rd overall selection by the Houston Astros. He led the Jayhawks in appearances in each of the last two seasons, setting a school record in 2009, by pitching in 40 games, including 38 out of the bullpen. He went 1-5 this season with a 5.96 ERA in 34 games with a save and 51 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings.

Heere, a junior from Lawrence, Kan., was selected with the 1,230th overall pick by the Cleveland Indians. He led the Jayhawks with a .393 batting average this season with 13 doubles, six homers and 52 RBIs in 59 games. Heere finished the season ranked fourth in the Big 12 in batting average (.393), fourth in base hits (92), eighth in runs scored (59), ninth in total bases (128) and seventh in on-base percentage (.470).

Walz, a junior right-handed pitcher from Omaha, Neb., was taken with the 1,505th overall pick by the Oakland A’s. Walz went 8-6 for Kansas this season with a 5.06 ERA in 15 starts. The junior earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors following an 11-strikeout performance at Oklahoma State on April 30. He finished the season ranked ninth in the Big 12 in wins (eight), fifth in innings pitched (101 1/3), ninth in strikeouts (95) and sixth in games started (15).

In addition to the seven current players drafted by Major League organizations, KU had two of its signees selected. Outfielder Mark Brown (Detroit, Mich.) was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 19th round of the draft, while infielder Brad Salgado (Temecula, Calif.) garnered a 38th round selection by the Chicago White Sox.

Jayhawk Draft Picks

Player Round (Overall Pick) Organization

Tony Thompson (3B) 6 (185) Oakland

Robby Price (2B) 13 (401) Tampa Bay

*Mark Brown (OF) 19 (570) Cleveland

Brett Bochy (RHP) 20 (618) San Francisco

Cameron Selik (RHP) 22 (656) Washington

Travis Blankenship (LHP) 31 (933) Houston

*Brad Salgado (SS) 38 (1148) Chicago White Sox

Brian Heere (OF) 41 (1230) Cleveland

T.J. Walz (RHP) 50 (1505) Oakland

* – 2011 Signee