Every college player that’s selected in the draft each June does not always come from a well-known D-I baseball program. Some of the top players at the D-II level also receive the opportunity to play professional baseball after doing without some of the attention and hype that high draft picks from the top D-I programs receive. And they still have a shot of one day making it to the big leagues.
Outfielder Gabe MacDougall of national champion Lynn (Fla.) went to the Royals in the 27th round. He was the 812th player selected. After a monster junior year in which he hit .389/.489/.829 with 20 home runs, MacDougall, who is 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, regressed to a .302/.429/.529 senior season with 10 home runs. He was still second on his team in homers. The Royals selected him as a left fielder.
One round later the Athletics selected Emporia State (Kan.) center fielder Connor Crumbliss with the 843rd overall pick. Crumbliss is only 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, but he’s a threat on the basepaths as he swiped 30 bases this past season in 32 tries. In 2009 Crumbliss hit .397/.483/.619 with five home runs. He was Emporia’s starter in center field this year after he began his career as a second basemen with the program. Oakland announced him as a second basemen on draft day.
Both of these players should be relatively easy signs for the two teams if they wish to continue their careers, since they both graduated from their schools. They’re also a pair of underdogs worth rooting for.