June 11, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Six current Commodores and four incoming signees were drafted in Major League Baseball's three-day amateur draft that concluded Thursday afternoon.
Senior outfielder Jonathan White was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 40th round on Thursday to round out the current group of Vanderbilt players drafted. The Shelbyville, Tenn., native came on strong at the end of 2009, leading the team with a .389 batting average with four doubles, a triple, homer, five RBI and eight runs scored during postseason play. White ended his career with a .277 batting average, eight homers, 48 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 42 attempts.
Mike Minor was the first Commodore taken with the seventh overall pick by the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. His selection marked the fifth time in the last three seasons a Vanderbilt player has been picked in the first round.
Junior right-handed pitcher Caleb Cotham started Day Two for VU with his selection in the fifth round by the New York Yankees. Senior right-handed pitcher Nick Christiani, who was picked in the 13th round by the Cincinnati Reds, followed him. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Steven Liddle was selected in the 15th round by the Minnesota Twins and junior right-hander Drew Hayes in the 22nd round by the Seattle Mariners to close out the current Commodores drafted on day two.
Cotham went 14-11 with a 4.24 ERA in two years as a weekend starter. He went 7-5 this season with a 4.10 ERA and came on strong in his final two starts while pitching with a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Mount Juliet, Tenn., native was limited to a relief role for two weeks in May because of the injury and made his return to the starting rotation at the Southeastern Conference tournament against Arkansas on May 23. He held the Razorbacks, a team that is in the College World Series, to just one run on five hits in seven innings of work with seven strikeouts in an 11-1 run rule victory. He followed that up with complete game four-hit shutout over hard-hitting Middle Tennessee on May 31 at the NCAA Louisville Regional. It was the first time a Commodore pitcher tossed a complete game shutout in 27 NCAA appearances, and Cotham was named to All-Regional team for his efforts.
Christiani finished his collegiate career with a 20-16 record and 4.72 ERA. He struck out 228 batters with 96 walks in 255.2 innings pitched and finished his career with a win over Louisville in the NCAA tournament on May 31. The New Jersey native allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks in an 8-4 win over the Cardinals in a must win game for the Commodores. It is the second time Christiani has been drafted after getting selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round a year ago.
Liddle, a second team All-SEC selection, hit .348 with 10 homers and 51 RBI in 2009. His 10 homers tied him for first on the team while his 22 doubles were most on the team and second best in the SEC. The Franklin, Tenn., native turned it on in league play, hitting .374 with seven homers and 21 RBI in 29 contests. In two seasons as a starter, Liddle sports a .333 batting average with 34 doubles, five triples, 10 homers and 79 RBI.
Hayes has a 6-4 record and 4.57 ERA in two years as a Commodore after transferring from Bethel College after his freshman year in 2007. The McKenzie, Tenn., native went 4-3 with a 5.56 ERA this year while splitting time as a reliever and as a starter. It marks the second time Hayes has been drafted after getting picked out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 29th round in 2006.
Two additional signees, Michael Yastrzemski (36th round- Boston) and Nathan Dorris (45th- Atlanta) were drafted on Thursday, making the final tally of four incoming recruits drafted. Yastrzemski, an outfielder from St. John's Prep, is the grandson of Boston legend Carl Yastrzemski, the Hall of Fame outfielder for the Red Sox. Dorris is a left-handed pitcher from Marion High in Marion, Illinois. Those two are in addition to two signees picked on the second day of the draft. Sam Selman, a left-handed pitcher from St. Andrews Episcopal in Austin, Texas, was picked in the 14th round by the Los Angeles Angels, while Regan Flaherty, a first baseman from Portland, Maine, was selected in the 28th round by the Seattle Mariners. Selman was ranked the 24th best prospect in Texas by Baseball America, while Flaherty has Vanderbilt bloodlines as his brother Ryan achieved All-American status as a Commodore from 2006-08.
Major League clubs have until Monday, Aug. 17, to come to terms with the players.
Name Position Round (Overall) Team
Mike Minor LHP 1st (7) Atlanta
Caleb Cotham RHP 5th (165) New York (AL)
Nick Christiani RHP 13th (389) Cincinnati
Sam Selman LHP 14th (441) Los Angeles
Steven Liddle OF 15th (462) Minnesota
Drew Hayes RHP 22nd (653) Seattle
Regan Flaherty INF 28th (833) Seattle
Michael Yastrzemski OF 36th (1098) Boston
Jonathan White OF 40th (1197) San Francisco
Nathan Dorris LHP 45th (1348) Atlanta