Diamond Bucs eye MLB Draft
The first day of the Major League Baseball Draft is in the books and through the first two rounds no East Carolina player has been selected. That could all change, however. With 38 rounds and two days remaining, it seems likely that one or more Pirate players could hear their names called. ECU has nine players eligible to be drafted this year and a few of them seem likely to be drafted at some point through the three-day affair. REID LOVE — PITCHER/OUTFIELDER Senior Reid Love was not only the ace and captain of last season’s Regional team, he was an important member of the ECU lineup, often times hitting leadoff while manning centerfield. Love hit .287 and notched three home runs as well as filling the role of Saturday starter and was named a semifinalist for the John Olerud Award, given annual to the nation’s best two-way player. Love’s baseball future, however, seems to hinge on his left arm, as the lefty pitcher excelled a season ago on his way to a 7-3 record. Some MLB teams may be scared away by Love’s lack of velocity but his control could more than make up for it in the eyes of scouts. His 77 strikeouts to just 10 walks in 88.2 innings of work should only boost his resume and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the 6-foot, 199-pound Love selected somewhere during Day 3 when rounds 11-40 are conducted. Luke Lowery- CATCHER/FIRST BASE/OUTFIELD While Love seems to have the best chance of being the first Pirate taken, junior catcher Luke Lowery could be the draft-eligible player with the most pro potential. Lowery’s stocky build and power potential makes him a prime candidate to be taken in the draft and team’s could be enticed by his offensive upside. He led the team with 12 home runs last year and finished second with his .311 batting average. He also boasts an outstanding .533 slugging percentage and showed the ability to be patient with 26 walks. However, there could be some concerns about Lowery’s swing and miss tendency. His 58 strikeouts last season led the team but his power could mask his whiffs. Lowery’s power was also showcased his pop last summer with Brewster Ice Caps of the Cape Cod Baseball summer League. He notched five homers in 86 at bats and was elected to participate in the league’s home run derby. In the field, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Lowery has played a multitude of positions including first base and outfield but was a catcher in high school and saw some collegiate time behind the dish. His athletic ability will only help his case to get drafted and being capable of playing various positions doesn’t hurt, either. David Lucroy — PITCHER If David Lucroy’s name is called it won’t an unfamiliar occurrence. The right-handed pitcher was selected in the 29th round back in 2011 out of high school but instead decided to join ECU’s baseball program. His name isn’t unfamiliar in the baseball ranks, either as his brother Jonathan Lucroy has enjoyed a career with the Milwaukee Brewers as a catcher. The 6-foot Lucroy has all the physical tools to make the jump to the professionals, evident by his selection out of high school, but his collegiate career hasn’t had a storybook start. His freshman season yielded an impressive 4-2 record with a 2.49 ERA and set an ECU freshman record with 82 strikeouts. Instead of riding the success that he found during his initial season, Lucroy regressed and struggled with his control. A dismal 2-6 sophomore campaign saw the righty punch-out just 34 batters while walking 29 through just 53 innings of work. As a junior a season ago, Lucroy showed flashes of the brilliance that helped him garner the freshman record. His 2.18 ERA was second on the team but he once again walked 29 batters and struck out 47. Lucroy’s mid-90s fastball has surely caught the attention of scouts but a successful professional career seems contingent on his control improving and his development of secondary pitches. OTHER NOTABLES: Hunter Allen (Sr) — SS — 2014: .349 BAA /.411 SLG /.408 OBP Garrett Brooks (Jr) — OF —2014: .270 BAA / .357 SLG / .375 OBP
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