Commodores hard hit by MLB draft

Vanderbilt was well-represented in the Major League Baseball Draft Monday-- perhaps too well, if you're a Commodore fan. A total of five current Commodores were selected by major league teams on Day One of the draft, as well as one of Vanderbilt's top high school signees.

Vanderbilt was well-represented in the Major League Baseball Draft Monday-- perhaps too well, if you're a Commodore fan. A total of five current Commodores were selected by major league teams on Day One of the draft, as well as one of Vanderbilt's top high school signees.

As expected, star left-handed pitcher Jeremy Sowers was taken in the first round. The Cleveland Indians picked the junior from Louisville, Ky. as the No. 6 overall pick Monday, and Sowers is expected to depart Vanderbilt for the major leagues at the end of this season.

As a high school senior Sowers was drafted as the No. 20 overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds, but elected to attend Vanderbilt rather than accept a hefty signing bonus. Entering this year's draft, Sowers was considered the top left-handed pitcher available.

The Minnesota Twins drafted Vanderbilt signee Kyle Waldrop (right, photo by Dan Barile / farragutpress) of Knoxville-Farragut High School in the first round as the No. 25 overall pick. Waldrop, who both pitched and played outfield for the two-time state champion Admirals, could be both a pitcher and an everyday player at Vandy if he passes up first-round money to attend college.

Waldrop was part of a seven-man signing class announced by Vanderbilt last November. High school draftees remain eligible to sign a professional contract until the first day they enroll at a college or attend classes.

Vanderbilt had a pair of players drafted back-to-back in Monday's fifth round. Hard-slugging first baseman / designated hitter Cesar Nicolas, one of three seniors on the 2004 Commodore squad, was taken at No. 146 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Toronto Blue Jays followed that pick by drafting Commodore shortstop Ryan Klosterman as the No. 147 pick. Klosterman's stock in the draft rose significantly recently after a season which saw him bat .350 and attain All-SEC status. Should the junior decide to pass up his final year of eligibility, it would be a major blow to the 2005 Commodores.

Speedy center fielder Antoan Richardson was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 13th round. Richardson, a junior college transfer and a junior in eligibility, has been drafted twice before, both times in the 27th round. Richardson led the SEC in stolen bases with 31, and could still add to that total as Vanderbilt continues play in the Super Regionals this weekend.

Sophomore righty Jeff Sues went to the Indians in the 14th round. Though a sophomore in eligibility, Sues is in his third year in college and was draft-eligible. He has appeared in 19 games this season with a 4-1 record and 4.47 ERA.

Vanderbilt has not had five players drafted in the draft since 1993. The Commodores could increase that total Tuesday when the draft continues with rounds 26-50.


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