Three More Wildcats Selected in MLB Draft

SECAUCUS, N.J. Kansas State’s Justin Bloxom, Drew Biery and Rob Vaughn were selected in the 2009 Major League First Year Player Draft Wednesday afternoon. The trio becomes the second, third and fourth Wildcats selected in this year’s draft after junior pitcher A.J. Morris was selected in the fourth round by the Washington Nationals.

 

Kansas State’s four draftees moved its total to 17 since head coach Brad Hill took over the Wildcat program prior to the 2004 season. In the past two years, the Wildcats have had 10 players selected in the MLB Draft.

 

Bloxom, Kansas State’s starting first baseman for the past two seasons, followed in the footsteps of Morris as he was also selected by the Nationals with the first pick of the 11th round (No. 322 overall). Bloxom and Morris are the first and second players to be selected by the Washington/Montreal franchise.

 

A 2009 Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection, Bloxom became Kansas State’s fourth triple crown winner since 2000 when he led the team in batting average (.361), home runs (12) and RBI (63) in 2009. Bloxom also paced the team in slugging percentage (.607), hits (88), total bases (148), multi-RBI games (21) and two-out RBI (27).

 

The Phoenix, Ariz., product finished in the top five in K-State history in eight different single-season offensive categories, including games played (62; tied for 1st), games started (62; tied for 1st), at-bats (244; 2nd), hits (tied for 3rd), total bases (148; 3rd), RBI (4th), extra base hits (32; 5th) and home runs (tied for 5th).

 

Bloxom, who was named to the All-Houston Regional team, was a vital part of the Wildcats’ first regional appearance in school history and did not disappoint in the postseason. The first baseman went 8-for-15 (.533) with three home runs and nine RBI in the Houston Regional. His regional batting average stands as the eighth best in the nation during postseason play among players with at least four games played, while he was tops among teams at the Houston Regional.

 

Bloxom, who was a high school catcher and played first base at Kansas State, was drafted by Washington as a left fielder.

 

Taken by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth pick of the 22nd round (No. 657 overall), Biery is the fifth Wildcat selected by the Giants since 1969, while he is the second drafted by the organization under head coach Brad Hill.

 

A Brooks Wallace Award semifinalist and an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 selection, Biery was one of six seniors on this year’s team that led the Cats to the first postseason appearance in school history. Biery concluded his time in Manhattan with a .297 career average, including a .329 mark during his senior season. The shortstop was fourth on the team in average, while he was tied for first in doubles (17) and third in slugging percentage (.557), runs scored (53) and home runs (9).

 

A native of Arlington, Texas, Biery ranks in the top 10 in six Kansas State career records, including games played (181; 9th), games started (163; 9th), at-bats (622; 9th), doubles (41; 8th), hit-by-pitch (29; 2nd) and sacrifice hits (21; 2nd).

 

Biery, who played shortstop for a majority of his time at Kansas State, was drafted by the Giants as a third baseman.

 

Vaughn, K-State’s starting catcher for each of the last three seasons, was taken with the 22nd pick of the 30th round (No. 913 overall) by the Chicago White Sox. Vaughn is the third Wildcat selected by the organization in the draft and the first since Carlos Torres was chosen in the 15th round of the 2004 draft.

 

Regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the Big 12, Vaughn played in 163 career games, including 148 starts. The Humble, Texas, native caught Kansas State’s career and single-season win record holders in Brad Hutt and Morris.

 

Vaughn, a career .263 hitter, had the best offensive production of his career as a senior in 2009 when he hit .281 with seven doubles, five home runs and 25 RBI. Vaughn raised his average to a season high .311 after a 5-for-7 series at Oklahoma State in early May.

 

Kansas State signee Gerardo Esquivel, who just completed his senior season at De La Salle Institute in Chicago, Ill., was also selected on Wednesday. The right-handed pitcher was taken by the Chicago Cubs with the 29th pick in the 24th round (No. 740 overall).

 

The 2009 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft will conclude on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (ET) with rounds 31-50. Check www.k-statesports.com for more K-State selections in the 2009 MLB Draft.