Last year then sophomore Isaac Ballou was chosen in the 36th round by the Pittsburgh Pirtaes. A center fielder, Ballou decided to forgo professional baseball and return to Marshall for his junior season. Ballou did nothing but improve his draft stock in 2012, batting .308 while stealing 21 basses on 28 attempts. Hitting over .300 is impressive but, Ballou's patience at the plate was epic. The Virginia native earned 43 walks while only striking out 41 times. Ballou's keen eye helped him record an .488 on base percentage. Don't be surprised if you hear his name called in the first twenty rounds of this years draft.
Another member of the Thundering Herd selected last year, senior starting pitcher Mike Mason, should be picked again. Marshall's Saturday starter for the past three seasons, Mason recorded 60 strikeouts to only 27 walks in 2012 with an ERA of 4.15. A lefty, the Texas Rangers selected Mason in the 23rd round of last years draft.
Like Mason, Joe Church was also selected in the 2011 draft, 40th round Los Angeles Angels, but elected to returned to college . One of Marshall's hardest throwers, the right handed Church tossed just over 28 innings this year, with an impressive 3.45 ERA and 37 strikeouts to 14 walks.
Not among the players picked last year, Marshall closer Jesse Fernandez is a candidate for selection in 2012. Beyond his four saves opposing batters only recorded a .170 batting average against him this season, a team low. Looking at the Thundering Herd's position players, first baseman Nathan Gomez could hear his name called. The brother of former Marshall standout Victor Gomez, Nathan lead the Herd in hits (65), batting average (.316), slugging percentage (.442), runs batted in (39), and total bases (91) this year.
The draft will be broadcast by the MLB Network starting tomorrow at 6pm EST, full schedule below:
Monday, June 4 (Day One)
Round 1 and compensation round A, 6 p.m ET (MLB Network)
Tuesday, June 5 (Day Two)
Rounds 2-15, 12 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Wednesday, June 6 (Day Three)
Rounds 16-40, 12 p.m. ET (MLB Network)