BOONE — Two seniors and two juniors from Appalachian State University got their names called last Wednesday in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The highest drafted player was senior infielder Michael Pierson. The Los Angeles Angels selected him in the 21st round, number 645 overall. The San Francisco Giants drafted junior infielder Dillon Dobson in the 23rd round (645 overall), the Minnesota Twins grabbed junior outfielder Jaylin Davis in the 24th round (710 overall) and finally the Texas Rangers selected pitcher Jeffrey Springs in the 30th round (888 overall).
Pierson has been a great story throughout his Mountaineer career. The former walk-on has been the team’s top hitter in each of the last two seasons, hitting .346 this past season and .343 in 2014. Pierson has also shown a great eye for the ball at the plate as he finished 33rd in the nation in walks per game and drew the 10th most walks in ASU history.
Springs has been a fixture in the starting rotation most of his career, starting 43 games, good enough for third most in program history. His 243.1 innings pitched ranks him seventh in ASU history and his 215 strikeouts puts him at fourth in App State history. This past year, Springs went 4-2 overall with a 4.46 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 76.2 innings.
Those two players will begin their professional careers almost immediately.
For Dobson and Davis, it becomes decision time for the underclassmen. They have until Aug. 15 to decide if they want to begin their professional careers or come back to App State for their senior seasons.
Dobson, a Starmount High School graduate, has been one of the top power hitters for the Mountaineers the last three seasons. He already ranks fifth in program history in homeruns with 29. This past season, he smashed 12 homers and had a .577 slugging percentage, both good enough to rank in the top 100 in the country. Dobson is a two-time all-conference performer as well.
Davis is a tremendous athlete and in spite of only playing 18 games after an injury ended his season on March 15, the junior was still chosen in the draft. He was a freshman all-American in 2012 and is third in ASU history with 11 triples. His speed has been a weapon both offensively and defensively and would be a huge boost to the Mountaineers if he decides to return for his senior campaign.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87