The third and final day of the Major League Baseball Draft saw four Texas Longhorns Baseball players selected, including a pair of 11th round selections in junior shortstop C.J Hinojosa and junior outfielder Ben Johnson, while four class of 2015 signees were also drafted.
Hinojosa was first off the board for Texas when he was taken with the 336th overall selection by the San Francisco Giants, and Johnson followed three picks later when the Kansas City Royals took him. (Continue reading below...)
(...Continued from above) In the 26th round, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected left-handed pitcher Kirby Bellow and three rounds later second baseman Brooks Marlow was taken by the Houston Astros.
A three-year starter at shortstop, Hinojosa has batted .283 in 172 games (171 starts) and hit a career-best seven home runs this past season. The Spring, Texas, native was at his best in Big 12 play in 2015, hitting .304 with six of his homers and a .576 slugging percentage. He also helped key Texas' postseason run in 2014, when he hit a team-best .375 in 11 NCAA Tournament games.
Johnson, a first team All-Big 12 selection this past season, led the team in batting average (.332), hits (80), slugging percentage (.498), triples (7), multi-hit games (26), steals (16), total bases (120) and was second in on-base percentage (.393) last season. The Austin native has seen his numbers improve each year, going from a .220 batting average as a freshman to .263 as a sophomore before hitting .332 as a junior.
Bellow came on strong his senior season with the Longhorns, posting a 1.30 ERA in 34 2/3 innings, with 18 of his 24 appearances being scoreless. The lefty tallied a team-high five saves and didn't give up a single run in Big 12 play. He struck out 32 on the season and held opponents to a .183 batting average which was third-best on the team.
Marlow, who finished his career ranked second in school history in assists (668) and third in double plays turned (144) and games started (217), was the last current Longhorn to go in the draft. The second baseman from Giddings, Texas, was a second team All-Big 12 selection in 2014 when he also won the Rawlings Gold Glove at his position.
Texas also saw four of its class of 2015 signees taken late in the draft. Infielder Kody Clemens (Houston, Texas | Memorial HS) went in the 35th round to the Astros, infielder Matthew Schmidt (Parker, Colo. | Regis Jesuit HS) was taken in the 37th round by the New York Yankees, and outfielder Tyler Rand (Houston, Texas | Langham Creek HS) and RHP Nolan Kingham (Las Vegas, Nevada | Desert Oasis HS) went in the 39th round to the Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively.
Underclassmen and prep players have until the amateur signing deadline of July 17th to sign professionally.
Longhorns in the 2015 MLB Draft
Sr. RHP Parker French – 5th round, 137 overall, Rockies
Jr. SS C.J Hinojosa – 11th round, 336 overall, Giants
Jr. OF Ben Johnson – 11th round, 339 overall, Royals
Sr. LHP Kirby Bellow – 26th round, 766 overall, Diamondbacks
Sr. 2B Brooks Marlow – 29th round, 859 overall, Astros
INF Kody Clemens (signee) – 35th round, 1039 overall, Astros
INF Matthew Schmidt (signee) – 37th round, 1113 overall, Yankees
OF Tyler Rand (signee) – 39th round, 1168 overall, Rays
RHP Nolan Kingham (signee) – 39th round, 1171 overall, Brewers