KSU baseball players drafted to major leagues

Kali Price

Clockwise from top left: Tucker, Burriss, Wagler and Saylor.

Credit: Steve Schirra

The success continued for Kent State baseball this week as four players were drafted in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.

Junior shortstop Emmanuel Burriss and seniors center fielder Joe Tucker, infielder Drew Saylor and pitcher Chad Wagler were all drafted by major league teams.

Burriss was picked in the first round of the draft as the 33rd overall selection by the San Francisco Giants. The Mid-American Conference Player of the Year is considered one of the top leadoff hitters in this year’s draft. As a Flash, Burriss broke both Kent State records for single-season and career stolen bases. He put up 42 stolen bases for the season and 92 in his career. He led the MAC in stolen bases and runs scored with 70.

Burriss is one of four players in Kent State history who were picked in the first round of the draft.

Saylor was selected by the Florida Marlins as the 395th pick overall in the 13th round. He was also recently named as a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American for his 92 hits in 2006. This season, he led the Flashes in runs scored with 70 and RBIs with 68. He knocked in 14 home runs and was named to the 2006 All-MAC Team as well.

Wagler was selected in the 22nd round as the 669th overall pick by the Houston Astros. In the 2005 draft, Wagler was picked by San Francisco in the 18th round, but he decided to stay with the Flashes for his senior season.

Wagler was an All-MAC First Team pick after finishing with a 10-3 season and a 2.68 ERA. He recorded 69 strikeouts during the season. He went 22-8 in his career, making him No. 5 on the Kent State career wins list.

The Detroit Tigers picked Tucker in the 24th round as the 712th overall pick. He hit for a .311 average in the 2006 season and was selected to the Academic All-MAC squad Wednesday. Tucker posted 285 hits and 195 runs in his career, putting him in the No. 2 spot in school career leaders.

The Flashes showed their scouting skills as well in the draft as Chad Rodgers, who recently graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round as the 100th pick overall.

Rodgers had signed a national letter of intent to play at Kent State in 2007. As a senior at Walsh Jesuit, he went 8-0 and had an ERA of 0.53. Walsh Jesuit recently won the Division II State Championship.

Contact general assignment reporter Kali Price at [email protected].