Ed Petruska-Contributing Writer Pinal Central
SECAUCUS, N.J. — Four days after Central Arizona College won its third baseball national title, it had another good day during the Major League Baseball draft.
On Wednesday, the third and final day of the draft, CAC had five current players and two former players selected by MLB teams.
The first player off the board was left-handed pitcher Lucas Knowles, who was one of the most dominant junior college pitchers in the country, despite missing more than a month of the season. He was taken in the 14th round (No. 423 overall) by the Washington Nationals.
Knowles went 9-2 with a 1.23 ERA (No. 3 in NJCAA), and he struck out 94 in 80 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-1 sophomore is committed to play for Kentucky next season if he decides against turning pro.
Just two rounds later, pitcher Dakota Donovan was drafted in the 16th round by the Los Angeles Angels. The 6-6, 230-pound righty led the Vaqueros in innings pitched (85 2/3) and had 108 strikeouts to just 19 walks.
The run on pitching continued in the 22nd round, as Jonathan Stroman was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Stroman led the team in strikeouts, punching out 116 batters in 79 1/3 innings. He ranked seventh in the country in strikeouts.
Another CAC pitcher had his name called when Jason Nelson was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 31st round. The 6-foot righty struck out 72 in 51 1/3 innings and posted a 1.40 ERA, second-best on the team behind Knowles.
Of the five current Vaqueros drafted Wednesday, Ernny Ordonez was the only position player to be selected.
He was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd round. The 6-2 infielder from Goodyear hit .332/.382/.535 and belted nine home runs in addition to leading the team in hits (90), doubles (22) and RBIs (68).
He tied for fifth in the NJCAA in doubles.
A couple of former Vaqueros were also drafted. Edgar Barclay, a 5-10 lefty who pitched for Cal State Bakersfield, was drafted in the 15th round by the New York Yankees. He struck out 111 in 90 1/3 innings with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.
Left-handed pitcher Andrew Edwards of New Mexico State was selected in the 31st round by the New York Mets. The 6-2 hurler struck out 30 in 22 2/3 innings with a 4.37 ERA.