CINCINNATI - Dreams came true Tuesday and Wednesday for several local baseball players who were selected in day two of the 2012 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
Rounds 2-15 were Tuesday with rounds 16-40 taking place on Wednesday.
The following players were drafted:
- Zach Isler, pitcher from UC taken by the White Sox in the eighth round
- Seth Willoughby, pitcher from Xavier taken in the fourth round by the Colorado Rockies
- Luke Maile, catcher from Kentucky selected in the eighth round by the Tampa Bay Rays
- Jake Proctor, outfielder from UC taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 14th round
- Christian McElroy, pitcher from UC, taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the 32nd round.
Below are the releases from each players' school:
ZACH ISLER -- University of Cincinnati right-handed pitcher Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) was selected Tuesday by the Chicago White Sox with pick No. 261 in the eighth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the eighth consecutive year a Bearcat has been drafted.
“I don’t even know what to say right now; I’m ecstatic,” said Isler. “(White Sox area scout) Phil Gulley said that we’re taking you with the next pick that we’ve got; congratulations. I’m very happy with where I went.”
Isler, a 6-foot-5 junior, appeared in 22 games with four starts in 2012, posting a 2.78 ERA with five saves, which ranked ninth in the BIG EAST Conference. He finished second on the team with 55 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched and held opponents to a .236 batting average.
Isler did not surrender an earned run in 14 of his 22 appearances and placed 10th in the BIG EAST in fewest earned runs allowed (14) during league play.
After serving as the Bearcats closer for most of the season, Isler started the last four series openers of the year and posted a 1.61 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 28 innings while limiting opponents to a .212 average. He went at least six innings in all four starts and did not allow an earned run in two of his four starts, which includes a career-high 10-strikeout, seven-inning performance vs. Rutgers April 27.
In three seasons at UC, Isler owns a 3.96 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 136 1-3 innings pitched. His seven career saves are tied for ninth place in school history, while his 57 appearances are good for 15th.
The Isler selection marks the 20th occasion a Bearcat has been drafted during head coach Brian Cleary’s 16-year tenure at Cincinnati. Isler will have until 5 p.m. July 13 to sign with the White Sox or choose to complete his fourth year of eligibility at UC
SETH WILLOUGHBY -- Xavier junior pitcher Seth Willoughby was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday by the Colorado Rockies.
Willoughby was selected with the 10th pick in the fourth round and was the 138th player selected overall, making him the highest draftee ever from Xavier University. The highest previous pick was Richard Donnelly who was taken with the 158th overall by the Yankees in the 1967 draft.
Willoughby was recently named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team after thriving in the closer’s role for the Musketeers during the 2012 season. The right-hander had a 2-1 record with a 1.26 ERA and had 12 saves in 25 appearances and helped Xavier to its sixth straight 20-win season.
This year’s 12 saves was the second most saves recorded in a single season and his 28 career saves are the most ever recorded by a Musketeer. In his three years, Willoughby sported a career 3.25 ERA while striking out 110 batters in 99.2 innings pitched.
The versatile Columbus, Ohio, native hit .421 in a limited offensive role this season for the Musketeers. Overall he has posted a .320 average with six home runs and 42 RBI in three years.
The selection marks the sixth consecutive year that a Musketeer has been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Last season the San Francisco Giants selected Xavier first basemen Ben Thomas with the 1,047th pick in the 34th round.
LUKE MAILE -- Kentucky junior catcher Luke Maile – a 2012 All-Southeastern Conference selection – has been picked in the eighth round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, going No. 272 overall, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
A native of Crestview Hills, Ky., Maile was picked in the eighth round of the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay, joining teammate, junior outfielder Brian Adams, as an eighth-round pick, with Adams going to the San Diego Padres with pick No. 255. The duo marks the 15th and 16th Kentucky players to be picked in the top-10 rounds of the draft and the 36th overall selections since UK won the 2006 SEC Championship.
A 6-foot-3, 220-pound catcher, Maile has had a decorated three-year career for the Wildcats since arriving on campus as the Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball at out Covington Catholic High School. Maile led UK to its best season in the history of the program
in 2012, with UK winning a record 45 games and finishing a game out of the regular-season SEC Championship.
As a second-team All-SEC catcher in 2012, Maile hit .319 (73-for-229) with 13 doubles, 12 homers and 51 RBI, owning a .533 slugging and a .426 on-base percentage. Maile owned a 34-35 walk-strikeout ratio and stole nine of 11 bases. Defensively, Maile helped lead UK to the fewest stolen bases against and the most pickoffs in the SEC, throwing out 10 of 18 would-be base steals and a staggering eight of 11 would-be base stealers in league action.
In his career, Maile owns a .295 average (130-for-441) with 23 doubles, three triples, 24 homers and 93 RBI, stealing 17-of-21 bases. As a freshman, Maile opened his career with a homer in his first UK at bat, batting .200 (7-for-35) in 2010 with three homers and six RBI. Maile emerged as one of the top players in college baseball as a sophomore, batting .282 (50-for-177) with 10 doubles, three triples, nine homers and 36 RBI.
A 43rd round pick out of high school by the Boston Red Sox, Maile earned a bevy of honors in 2012. He was on a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser NCAA Player of the Year Award. In addition, Maile earned two SEC Player of the Week accolades.
JAKE PROCTOR -- University of Cincinnati outfielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) was selected by the Minnesota Twins with the 430th pick in the 14th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft; the second Bearcat to get drafted Tuesday.
Proctor, a 6-foot-2 junior, started UC's first 42 ballgames of the season before missing the final 14 due to a leg injury suffered April 25 vs. Xavier. He batted .284 with 29 runs, three home runs, 28 RBIs and 14 stolen bases and was the team leader in RBIs and stolen bases before the injury. The Oak Hills High School product finished the year second on the team in steals and third in batting, slugging (.399), on-base (.340), runs, hits (52), RBIs and total bases (73).
In 2012 Proctor produced a career-high four hits at Notre Dame April 13, stole a career-best three bases vs. Oakland on March 3 and recorded career highs in RBIs (5) and total bases (7) vs. UMBC Feb. 26.
In 138 game played over three seasons at Cincinnati, Proctor owns a .256 batting average with 92 runs, 23 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 61 RBIs and 38 stolen bases. His stolen-base total ranks 15th all-time in UC history and his 122 games started are tied for 22nd.
With the drafting of Proctor, head coach Brian Cleary has had a player selected for the 21st time during his 16-year tenure at Cincinnati. Earlier Tuesday afternoon, junior right-handed pitcher Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the eighth round with pick No. 261, extending UC’s draft streak to eight straight years.
Proctor will have until 5 p.m. July 13 to sign with the Twins or choose to complete his fourth year of eligibility at UC.
CHRISTIAN MCELROY -- University of Cincinnati right-handed pitcher Christian McElroy (Middletown, Ohio/Monroe/Sinclair CC) became the third UC draftee in 2012 when the Cincinnati Reds selected him with the 982nd overall pick in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
McElroy becomes the second right-hander from UC drafted by the hometown Reds in as many years after Dan Jensen was taken by the Reds in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
McElroy, a 6-foot-4 redshirt sophomore, pitched in 13 ballgames with nine starts for the Bearcats in 2012, posting a 4.41 ERA with four wins and 46 strikeouts in 63 1-3 innings pitched. McElroy finished the season ranked sixth in the BIG EAST Conference in fewest hits allowed (59) and 12th in opponent batting average (.252).
McElroy was named to BIG EAST Honor Roll for his performance at Notre Dame on April 15, when he tied his career-high of seven innings pitched and allowed just one unearned run on three hits with four strikeouts. In his second-to-last start of the season May 13 at Villanova, McElroy recorded a career-best eight strikeouts while allowing just one earned run in 6 2-3 innings.
After right-hander Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the eighth round and outfielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) was chosen in the 14th round by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, McElroy’s selection gives UC a trio of draftees in the same year for the first time since 2009 and the fifth time in program history (1977, 1988, 2001). The 2008 draft class saw a school-record four Bearcats selected.
Since Head Coach Brian Cleary’s first season at Cincinnati in 1997, a Bearcat has been drafted 22 times during his 16-year tenure.
McElroy will have until 5 p.m. July 13 to sign with the Reds or choose to complete his third year of eligibility at UC.
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