On Monday, the 2017 MLB Draft began. However, it wasn’t until day two of the draft on Tuesday when the first Florida State baseball players were selected.
Shortstop Taylor Walls was selected in the third round, No. 79 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2016, Walls set career highs with a .355 batting average and .479 on-base-percentage, a jump of over .100 points in each category from his freshman year. This past season, Walls continued his success at the plate hitting .276 with an OBP of .421. His 63 walks are one shy of Clemson’s Seth Beer for most in the country. It is expected that Walls forgo his senior year at FSU and sign with the Rays.
I like Taylor Walls—winning player with very patient approach, a switch hitter with a nice line-drive swing. Think he can be an everyday 2B https://t.co/Cx1ml2b3LA— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 13, 2017
Just nine picks later in the third round at No. 88 overall, Dylan Busby was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The third baseman leads Florida State with 14 home runs and a .596 slugging percentage. In his three year career at FSU that will continue at the 2017 College World Series, Busby hit 37 home runs with a .297 average and .380 on-base-percentage. As the case with walls, Busby was selected higher than anticipated and will more than likely sign with the Pirates, beginning his professional career.
DH Quincy Nieporte was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 26th round, No. 773 overall. Nieporte has set career highs in 2017 with 10 home runs, 78 RBI and 40 runs. The Atlanta native has a very high contact ratio, striking out once in just over every 10 at bats.
In the 29th round, No. 865 overall, starter Cobi Johnson was taken by the Las Angeles Angles. Johnson missed all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. He has a career 6.10 ERA in 62 innings pitched, striking out 64 hitters. Johnson had struggles with his command while in Tallahassee, handing out 32 bases on balls.
With their 32nd round pick, No. 965 overall, the Detroit Tigers selected Drew Carlton. The newly converted closer made one start in 2017 and performed well in his new role. Carlton threw 59 innings with an ERA of 1.98 ERA and a career high 8.37 K/9.
The Colorado Rockies took LHP Alec Byrd in the 33rd round, No. 986 overall. Byrd had a 3.80 ERA in 123 innings at the school, striking out 128 hitters. The southpaw set a career high with a 10.05 K/9 mark in 2017 and 33 appearances.
Starting pitcher Andrew Karp was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round, No. 1035 overall. Karp gained a lot of experience as a starter in 2017, making 12 starts. Heading into the 2017 College World Series, Karp is 2-3 with a 5.28 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark. The junior did not play his freshman year due to injuries suffered in a car accident.
Fellow starter Tyler Holton was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 35th round, No. 1049 overall. The five-time ACC Pitcher of the Week award recipient in 2017 pitched to the tune of a 10-2 record with a 2.25 ERA. The second-team all-american threw 112 innings, striking out 139 with a minuscule WHIP of 0.88.
In the 38th round, No. 1144 overall, the St. Louis Cardinals selected RHP Jim Voyles. The reliever struggled in 2017, posting career highs in ERA (4.46), walks (21) and WHIP (1.68), however is coming off strong sophomore and junior seasons in which he posted 2.63 and 3.16 ERAs respectively.
NOTE: The players’ stats are accurate entering the 2017 College World Series.