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Four more Longhorns chosen in MLB draft

(Left to right): First baseman Zach Zubia, pitcher Kolby Kubichek, third baseman Cam Williams and designated hitter Ivan Melendez all got drafted Tuesday on the final day of the 2021 MLB Draft (photos courtesy of / graphic by Horns Illustrated).

Four more Texas players heard their names called Tuesday in the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Ivan Melendez was selected in the 16th round, with the 479th overall selection by the Miami Marlins. Melendez was exclusively a designated hitter at Texas, but the Marlins play in the National League, which does not use the DH; the team drafted him as a third baseman, but make no mistake: his hitting his what got him drafted. He led the Horns with a .319 batting average, a .603 slugging percentage and 13 home runs this season, and drilled three triples and 13 doubles. He drove in 51 runs and scored 38, and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors. 

The New York Mets tabbed pitcher Kolby Kubichek in the 18th round, with the 532nd overall selection. He went 5-3 this season, with a 3.86 earned run average and 41 strikeouts over 51-1/3 innings.

Third baseman Cam Williams went a round later, with the 559th overall pick, to the Kansas City Royals. He led the Longhorns with 20 doubles, and his 12 home runs trailed only Melendez’s 13. He drove in 51 runs and scored 42, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors.

Melendez will have at least one familiar face in the Miami organization after the Marlins grabbed first baseman Zach Zubia in the 20th round, with the 599th overall selection. He hit .286 in 2021 and drove in a team-high 61 runs, with 11 doubles, three triples and 11 home runs. Zubia finished his UT career ranked 10th all-time with 186 career starts, eighth with 30 home runs, 10th with 162 RBI, eighth with 140 walks and third with 18 sacrifice flies.

The four selections give the Longhorns seven players selected in this year’s draft, tying UT for the sixth-highest total in the country. Pitcher Ty Madden was selected 32nd overall by the Detroit Tigers, center fielder Mike Antico went in the eighth round to the St. Louis Cardinals, and reliever Cole Quintanilla was chosen in the ninth round by the Washington Nationals.

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