Tinsley Drafted by Indians in Seventh Round
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the 212th pick of the 2016 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, the Cleveland Indians selected Kansas baseball’s junior catcher Michael Tinsley Friday afternoon.
“I am absolutely thrilled for Michael,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He is completely prepared to play at the next level and I couldn’t be prouder. I firmly believe that if he stays healthy, we will see him in the big leagues some day.”
Tinsley closed out a three-year career with one of the best offensive seasons all-time at Kansas. He posted the best single-season batting average at KU since 2010 with a .377 clip (80-for-212), led the Big 12 in average and in hits (80); ranked third in runs scored (47), seventh in RBIs (42) and fifth in on-base percentage (.460). His efforts earned him a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection, the first-ever for a catcher in Kansas history.
“It was a strange day today,” Tinsley said. “My emotions ranged from ecstatic to relieved to beyond happy. I couldn’t be more excited for a day like today to hear my name called. I have to thank Coach Price and the rest of the staff at KU, they prepared me like nothing else. Looking back, if I would have signed out of high school, I would have washed out by now. I have matured greatly over the last three years and it has fully prepared me for this next step in my life.”
Tinsley blasted 25 multi-hit games this season that included 15 two-hit, nine three-hit and one four-hit contest. He strung together two different 10-plus game hitting streaks finishing with a season-high 13 and reached base in a team-best 25 consecutive games. At one point, he raised his batting average to .403 during the season. If that was not enough, he was the toughest hitter to strikeout in the Big 12 averaging just one punch out every 11.8 at bats.
“It has been a dream of mine to play professional baseball for as long as I can remember,” Tinsley said. “Today means I can finally start living that dream and start a whole new journey in my life playing with some of the best players in the nation.”
Tinsley became the 26th player in Kansas history to be drafted in the top-10 rounds of the MLB Draft – including the secondary draft during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. He is also the sixth player – second position player – to don that honor in the Price era (Tom Gorzelanny – 2nd, Don Czyz – 7th, Sean Land – 9th, Tony Thompson –6th, Wes Benjamin – 5th and Michael Tinsley – 7th) and is the highest draft pick among catchers all-time at KU.
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