Arkansas Baseball Players Selected in the 2013 MLB Draft


Arkansas college baseball teams saw 20 players drafted into the Major League Baseball ranks between last Thursday and ending Saturday. Below is a roundup of those players.


Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball Team Sets School MLB Draft Record

Eight members of the University of Arkansas baseball team were selected on the final day of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday, bringing the total of Razorbacks drafted to 11.

Infielder Dominic Ficociello was drafted in the 12th round (No. 366 overall) by the Detroit Tigers, left handed pitcher Trent Daniel was selected in the 17th round (No. 499 overall) by the Colorado Rockies, right handed pitcher Brandon Moore was drafted in the 17th round (No. 512 overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers), outfielder Jacob Morris was taken in the 24th round (No. 723 overall) by the Chicago White Sox, left handed pitcher Tyler Wright was drafted in the 26th round (No. 777 overall) by the Seattle Mariners, left handed pitcher Randall Fant was selected in the 29th round (No. 857 overall) by the Houston Astros, infielder Eric Fisher was drafted in the 30th round (No. 892 overall) by the Miami Marlins and outfielder Matt Vinson was selected in the 37th round (No. 1,110 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With the eight players drafted on Saturday, a total of 11 Razorbacks were selected in the 2013 MLB Draft, setting a new school record for most players taken in one draft. The previous record was 10 set in 1985. Arkansas also led the country with 11 players selected in the 2013 draft. Right handed pitchers Ryne Stanek (1st round, 29th overall, Tampa Bay Rays), Colby Suggs(2nd round, 73rd overall, Miami Marlins) and Barrett Astin (3rd round, 90th overall, Milwaukee Brewers) were drafted during the first two days of the draft.

A native of Fullerton, Calif., Ficociello played in 46 games, with 45 starts, during his junior season and hit .247 with three home runs and 17 RBI. Ficociello finished the year with nine multi-hit games and had five multi-RBI performances. Defensively, Ficociello split time at first and second base as a junior and had a .974 fielding percentage, committing eight errors on the season.

In three years as a Razorback, Ficociello has played in 174 games, 171 as a starter, and has a .294 career batting average with 13 homers and 108 RBI. Ficociello has 49 multi-hit games and 28 multi-RBI games in his career. Ficociello also has 12 sacrifice flies in his career, which ranks tied for eighth in school history. A two-time All-SEC Defensive Team selection, Ficociello has a .981 career fielding percentage, committing just 27 errors over three seasons.

Hailing from Bryant, Ark., Daniel pitched in 22 games, 21 out of the bullpen, in 2013 and finished the year with a 0-1 record, one save and a 2.55 ERA. Daniel averaged a strikeout an inning, fanning 24 in 24.2 innings of work. Daniel only allowed one extra-base hit on the season.

Daniel finished his Razorback career with a 4-1 record, six saves and a 3.51 ERA in 69 appearances, including five starts. In 100 innings, Daniel struck out 97 batters and allowed 88 hits, holding the opposition to a .242 batting average. Daniel leaves the UA ranked eighth in school history in career appearances.

A native of Van Buren, Ark., Moore made 25 relief appearances, which ranked second on the team. Moore finished the season with a 1-4 record and a 2.68 ERA. In 47 innings, Moore only allowed 35 hits, holding opponents to a .215 batting average, and struck out 30 batters.

In three seasons at Arkansas, Moore has pitched in 71 games, 14 as a starter, and has a 10-7 record with three saves and a 2.85 ERA. In 198.2 innings, Moore has struck out 104 batters and allowed 176 hits, holding the opposition to a .245 average. Moore currently ranks tied for sixth in school history in career appearances.

A native of Coppell, Texas, Morris saw time in 41 games, including 29 as a starter, and had a .160 batting average with 14 RBI. Morris finished tied for the team lead with eight stolen bases and was only caught stealing once.

Morris has played in 116 games, with 96 starts, in his collegiate career and has a .202 career batting average with three home runs and 42 RBI. Morris ranks tied for fifth in school history with 18 career sacrifice bunts. He’s also added 15 stolen bases and been caught stealing just three times.

Wright, who hails from Houston, Texas, pitched in 11 games, including four as a starter, during the 2013 season and had a 1-1 record, while not allowing an earned run in 20.1 innings. Wright struck out 19 batters and gave up just nine hits, holding opponents to a .134 batting average.

Wright finished his career as a Razorback with a 2-1 record and a 1.19 ERA in 27 appearances, 23 of those in relief. In 37.2 innings, Wright allowed just 10 runs, five earned, on 24 hits with 38 strikeouts. Opponents hit just .183 off Wright in his two seasons at Arkansas.

A native of Texarkana, Texas, Fant enjoyed his best season as a Razorback in 2013, finishing the year with a 6-1 record and a 2.03 ERA in 14 starts. Fant pitched 66.2 innings, allowing 17 runs, 15 earned, on 50 hits and struck out 52 batters. Fant ranked eighth in the SEC in ERA, seventh in opposing batting average (.207) and tied for 15th in wins. In nine starts in SEC play, Fant compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.23 ERA. In league games only, Fant ranked ninth in ERA, third in opposing batting average (.194) and tied for ninth in wins.

Fant finished his collegiate career with a 14-11 record and a 3.26 ERA in 59 appearances, including 49 starts. In 223.1 innings, Fant allowed 91 runs, 81 earned, on 205 hits and struck out 151 batters. Fant allowed opponents to hit just .246. Fant leaves Arkansas ranked third in school history in career starts.

Fisher, who is a native of Spring, Texas, played in 46 games, including 30 starts, during the 2013 season and had a .238 batting average with two homers and 13 RBI. Fisher finished the season with nine multi-hit games. Fisher was one of the top offensive performers for the Razorbacks in the 2013 NCAA Manhattan Regional, hitting .417 (5-for-12) with a RBI and a run scored. Defensively, Fisher committed just three errors on the season, posting a .991 fielding percentage.

In his first two seasons at Arkansas, Fisher has played in 64 games, including 40 starts, and has a .217 batting average with two homers and 18 RBI. Fisher has made just five errors in 434 chances for a .988 fielding percentage.

A native of Alma, Ark., Vinson played in 57 of Arkansas’ 61 games and made 56 starts during the 2013 season. The senior outfielder finished the year with a .286 batting average, two homers and 24 RBI. He finished tied for the team lead with eight stolen bases and was caught stealing only once. Vinson ranked third on the team with 18 multi-hit games and was tied for third with six multi-RBI performances. Defensively, Vinson had six outfield assists on the year.

Vinson finished his collegiate career with a .245 batting average, seven homers and 60 RBI in 179 games played, including 137 starts. He added 14 stolen bases and was only caught stealing four times.

In addition to the eight current Razorbacks drafted on Saturday, Arkansas signees Jacob Stone and Andrew Benintendi were selected on the draft’s final day. Stone went in the 30th round (No. 889 overall) to the Colorado Rockies and Benintendi was drafted in the 31st round (No. 945 overall) by the Cincinnati Reds.

Current Razorbacks in the 2013 MLB Draft
Ryne Stanek – 1st round, 29th overall (Tampa Bay Rays)
Colby Suggs – 2nd round, 73rd overall (Miami Marlins)
Barrett Astin – 3rd round, 90th overall (Milwaukee Brewers)
Dominic Ficociello – 12th round, 366th overall (Detroit Tigers)
Trent Daniel – 17th round, 499th overall (Colorado Rockies)
Brandon Moore – 17th round, 512th overall (Milwaukee Brewers)
Jacob Morris – 24th round, 723rd overall (Chicago White Sox)
Tyler Wright – 26th round, 777th overall (Seattle Mariners)
Randall Fant – 29th round, 857th overall (Houston Astros)
Eric Fisher – 30th round, 892nd overall (Miami Marlins)
Matt Vinson – 37th round, 1,110th overall (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Two Red Wolves Drafted

Arkansas State senior pitcher Daniel Wright was selected in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. He was the 315th player taken overall and is the second highest draft pick in A-State baseball history.

Wright, a native of Bartlett, Tenn., and a the 2013 Sun Belt Conference First-Team All-Conference selection, led the Red Wolves to the semifinals of the SBC Tournament and helped A-State win at least two games in the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.

He was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year by after leading the Red Wolves in wins (6) strikeouts (96) and ERA (3.18). He ranked in the top-10 in the Sun Belt Conference in those same categories and finished the year as the league leader in innings pitched with 110.1.

“I feel honored to be able to continue to play baseball at the next level,” Wright said. “I’ve been blessed to have a great coaching staff over my career. I have had a great group of teammates that have pushed me and helped grow as a player. Arkansas State is a great university and I am so glad I was to play there.”

Wright was part of an A-State pitching staff that set a new school record in strikeouts with 487 and ranked among the top-15 nationally in strikeouts per nine innings on the year. Wright’s strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 3.69 was the best of any Red Wolves pitcher this season and his 1.07 WHP also ranked nationally.

He earned Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week honors on April 8 after picking up a save and a win in the previous week. Wright picked up his first save since 2011 when he recorded the final three outs in a home game against Southeast Missouri and then went out just three days later and tossed the first complete-game shutout of his career in a 6-0 victory over Western Kentucky. He struck out a career-high 11 batters, yielded just five hits and did not allow a runner past second base during the game. Wright also retired 12 straight in the game at one point.

“We are thrilled that Daniel has an opportunity to continue his career in pro baseball with the Cincinnati Reds,” A-State head coach Tommy Raffo said. “It is a real testament to his hard work that he has put in the last few seasons under pitching coach Tighe Dickinson. He has been an outstanding student in the classroom and has been first-class in everything he has done in the program whether it has been on or off the field.”

He finished the year by going the distance in his final three starts and retired the side in order in 11 of his final 26 innings at Arkansas State.

A-State has now had a player drafted in each of the last four seasons and Wright is the seventh player drafted from Arkansas State during the Tommy Raffo era. He is also the 17th pitcher that pitching coach Tighe Dickinson has had drafted in his coaching career and the fourth from Arkansas State.

In addition to Wright, Red Wolves senior Logan Uxa was selected in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. He was the 975th player taken overall was the second A-State player chosen by Cincinnati.  The Reds also drafted A-State senior pitcher Daniel Wright on Friday in the 10th round.

Uxa, a native St. Louis, Mo., started all 59 games for the Red Wolves in 2013, while posting a .268 batting average with 60 hits, 23 RBIs, a .384 on-base percentage and 37 runs scored.

“I’m honored to be able to continue my baseball career at the professional level,” Uxa said.  “I have been blessed with great coaches throughout my career to help me get to this point.  Arkansas State was a great experience for me and I’m thankful for the opportunity to play for Coach Raffo and the coaching staff.”

Uxa has enjoyed one of the most successful careers of any A-State player in recent history. He finished with 127 walks in his career, ranking second only to teammate Ryan Emery. His versatility allowed him to play multiple positions including the outfield and first base.

In 2012 Uxa had his best season, registering a .289 batting average a team-high 10 home runs and 44 RBIs. He also had a .477 slugging percentage and a .434 on-base percentage. He had a career-high four hits against Troy in 2012, while also driving in a career-high five runs.

“We are excited for Logan to have an opportunity to play at a higher level,” A-State head coach Tommy Raffo said.  “He was a model student-athlete for the ASU baseball program and we are very proud of him.”

Uxa started in 115 straight games while Arkansas State and helped the Red Wolves become the only school to win at least two games in the Sun Belt Conference tournament in each of the last four seasons.

UCA Bears Baseball Team Sees Three Players Drafted

A season of firsts continued Saturday afternoon for the University of Central Arkansas Bears when the San Diego Padres drafted pitcher Jeffery Enloe in the 37th round.

Enloe was the third UCA player taken in the 2013 draft, the most in school history for a single season, joining outfielders Forrestt Allday and Jonathan Davis.

Enloe went 7-5 this season with a 3.43 earned-run average. He threw four complete games in 16 starts and struck out a team-high 86 batters. A workhorse for the Bears for two seasons after transferring from Lurleen B. Wallace Community College,  the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Enloe threw nearly 200 innings over the past two years, including an 11-inning win over Northwestern State and a 10-inning victory over McNeese State this season.

“I was just overwhelmed,” said Enloe. “I knew it was getting later and later in the draft, so I didn’t really know what to think. Then I got a phone call and it said from the San Diego area, so right then I knew it was the Padres.

“I got a lot of information from them all at once. It was a little bit overwhelming. I know I fly out Monday to Arizona for a physical, then to Oregon and I’m supposed to pitch Friday or Saturday night.”

“It’s just impressive how far he’s come in two years,” said UCA head coach Allen Gum. “He had the arm and then he just worked so hard. Just like the other two, good things come to those who work hard. Jeffery paid the price and put the time in. His hard work paid off.

“I think the Padres got a steal. Getting a guy like Jeffery that late in the draft, that was a big steal in this draft. Because he’s going to go out and do some great things. I have 100 percent confidence in that.”

Enloe was second in the Southland Conference in starts and complete games, third in innings pitched and sixth in strikeouts. He helped the UCA pitching staff lead the league in ERA at 2.82.

“It’s been a great, great experience,” said Enloe. “(Pitching) Coach (Kirk) Kelley and Coach Gum, and all the coaches, have helped me tremendously to improve my game and get me to the point where I got drafted into Major League Baseball. It’s just been a great experience. I’m very blessed to have had the opportunity to play for UCA.”

SAU Muleriders Send Three to the Big Leagues

Southern Arkansas’ David Harris joins James Baune and Justin Thomasas SAU baseball players who have been taken in the 2013 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. All three of the Muleriders selected this year were taken on Saturday afternoon.

With the three draft selections so far, the Muleriders have now had 11 players get drafted since 2009 and 28 since 1976.

Harris, the unanimous Great American Conference Player of the Year and all-region selection, was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 36th round (pick #1,075). Harris, a native of Houston, Texas, is the NCAA Division II statistical leader in total bases with 148.

Baune, an All-America pitcher who went 13-1 with a 3.07 ERA this past season, was the first Mulerider to be drafted this year as the Los Angeles Dodgers took the Rockwall, Texas native with their 21st-round selection (pick #634). Baune is now the Muleriders’ 13th all-time right-handed pitcher taken in the MLB draft since 1976.

Mere minutes following Baune getting drafted, Thomas joined Baune as a draft selection as the Washington Nationals took the White Oak, Texas native with their 21st-round pick (pick #646). Thomas, the Muleriders’ all-time leader in saves, becomes the Muleriders’ fourth all-time left-handed pitcher to be taken in the MLB Draft.

UALR Trojans Buckley Drafted

Former UALR right-handed pitcher Tyler Buckley has been selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 27th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. Buckley ended the 2013 season with a 1-1 record and three saves over 18.2 innings pitched in 19 appearances.

“It was like a dream come true,” said Buckley from his home in Vancleave, Miss. “My entire family was sitting around following the draft, when all of a sudden my mom started screaming. It turned out her laptop had updated first, and she saw where the Phillies made the pick. Then I saw it when my iPad updated and it just felt great.”

“We’re really excited for Tyler and his family,” said head coach Scott Norwood. “We think he’ll do great at the professional level, especially with his work ethic and maturity.”

A native of Vancleave, Miss., Buckley held opposing hitters to a .288 batting average while totaling 21 strikeouts against 14 walks in 2013. One of the Trojans’ strongest arms out of the bullpen, his three saves ranked second on the team, while his 19 appearances were tied for third among the UALR pitching staff. One of Buckley’s saves came in game two of UALR’s doubleheader sweep of then No. 10-ranked Oklahoma. Brought on to start the ninth and preserve a one-run lead for UALR, the senior struck out two while throwing a hitless final inning to seal the Trojans’ 4-3 victory.

Buckley transferred to UALR after two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. As a junior, Buckley appeared in 13 games with six starts, posting a 6.98 ERA over 29.2 innings. He picked up his first win as a Trojan in his first career start by holding South Dakota State to three hits and two runs over 5.0 innings. The right-hander made four appearances in conference play as a junior, lowering his ERA to 4.50 over 8.0 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .172 batting average.

He said that he received more interest from scouts as a senior once his velocity, which had always been strong, became more consistent.

“Last year I could hit low-to-mid 90s, but it wasn’t consistently there,” said Buckley. “This year, I had it every pitch. The coaches really preached not letting things that may have happened an at-bat or inning ago affect me, and that helped.”


Courtesy College Athletic Departments

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