The Major League Baseball draft is a marathon, not a sprint.
At least in real marathons, you get the free water.
That wasn’t the case for me while monitoring this year’s draft. I love to see kids from our area (and state) get drafted, so I saddled into my work station with a few articles to write, all while watching the draft unfold before me on MLB.com’s draft tracker during the two-day event.
And it was worth it as it was a great draft for Bellevue and the state in general. Forty players from around the state were drafted, including a quartet with Bellevue ties.
David Roberts, a right-handed pitcher from Cal-St. Long Beach and Eastside Catholic High School, was the the highest drafted player with Bellevue ties. The Cleveland Indians nabbed Roberts in the third round with the 141st overall pick. Roberts went 3-1 in 26 appearances for the Dirtbags (what a name!) this season, all in relief.
Blaine Hardy, a former Bellevue Community College pitcher, now at Lewis-Clark State College, was selected 655th overall by Kansas City. Hardy was also used mainly as a reliever at LCSC and turned in a record of 8-1 with a 2.48 ERA. He combined on five shutouts during the season, picking up four saves and posted a 65:12 strikeout/walk ratio. Opponents hit only .268 against the lefty.
A pair of current Bellevue Community College pitchers rounded out the selections, as Brad Reid, a right-hander, was taken by the Mariners with the 912th pick. Teammate Stephen Foster, a left-hander, was taken 12 rounds later by the Braves with the 1,270th pick in the draft.
Reid led the Bulldogs in innings pitched this season with 59. He went 7-1, throwing five complete games and ending the season with a miniscule 0.76 ERA. Reid allowed only five earned runs all season.
Foster pitched 58 innings and went 4-3 with a 2.02 ERA. The lefty struck out 62 batters during the season.
I was also pleased to see two former classmates of mine from Richland High School get drafted: Washington’s Kyle Conley and Washington State’s Jayson Miller.
Conley, selected in the 16th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, absolutely tore the cover off of the ball this year for the Huskies.
The big right-hander hit .337 this season with 19 home runs and 57 RBIs, both team leading marks.
Miller has been a fixture at WSU for four seasons and was selected by Anaheim in the 30th round.
Miller, a lefty, went 8-1 this year for the Cougars, and became the first WSU pitcher since 1990 to go at least six innings in 14-straight starts.
All in all, Washington (and Bellevue) did quite well during the draft, a testament to the quality of little league, high school and college baseball in the state.
With loads of high school talent heading to college next season, Bellevue is sure to see more draftees in the next few years.
Joel Willits can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at email@example.com.