Eagles Get the Call on Day Two of MLB Draft
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern Baseball saw three players and three fall signees get drafted during day two of the Major League Baseball draft.
Senior catcher Griffin Benedict (Dunwoody/St. Pius) was selected in the 16th round by the San Diego Padres, the 474th overall pick. Senior outfielder Ty Wright (Montrose/West Laurens/ABAC) also went to the Padres in round 25 (pick #744). Junior pitcher Chris Mederos (Valdosta/Lowndes County/Gordon College) went nine picks later to the Oakland As, also in the 25th round.
Also getting drafted during day two were three fall signees. Outfielder Travis Witherspoon (Sumter, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist) went in the 12th round to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Outfielder Victor Roache (Ypsilanti, MI/Lincoln) went in the 25th round to the Detroit Tigers (pick #750). Infielder Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain/Redan/Middle Georgia JC) was selected in the 29th round (pick #877) by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Eagles now have had 10 current players drafted since 2006. Rounds 31-50 will take place on Thursday (June 11).
Benedict finished with the team lead hitting 14 home runs. He hit three homers and finished 6-for-9 at the plate at the NCAA Fullerton Regional, ending the season with a .412 batting average tied for seventh-best in a season. He hit two doubles, scored five runs and drove in four in the two games.
The First Team All-Southern Conference pick hit 17 doubles, scored 67 runs and drove in 65. He set the Georgia Southern single season record with 24 hit by pitches and finished his career second all-time with 53. Benedict also walked (34) more times than he struck out on the year (31) in 221 at-bats. He finished 8-for-8 in stolen bases and posted a .988 fielding percentage.
Among the national leaders, Benedict currently stands 35th in batting average, fourth in hit by pitches, seventh in on-base percentage (.528), 59th in RBI and 84th in slugging percentage (.679). Earlier this year he tied a NCAA single-game record hitting two home runs during the same inning in a 14-4 win over #20 East Carolina.
He played in 225 career games as an Eagle, tying for 10th place on that all-time list. Benedict also finished his career ranked sixth in runs (192) and tied for sixth in RBI (195). He posted a .342 all-time batting average with 53 doubles (tied 7th) and 33 home runs. Benedict was one of two players in program history to record 60 runs scored/60 RBI in two consecutive years.
“I am really excited about the San Diego Padres, their organization and the opportunity I have with them. I want to thank everyone at Georgia Southern who helped me get to this point and I am really excited about moving on to the next level,” said Benedict, who was ranked as the nation’s top catcher by Rivals.com.
Wright finished the 2009 campaign with a .339 batting average, scoring 73 runs with 63 RBI. He hit 14 doubles, 13 home runs, led the Eagles with 15-of-19 stolen bases and posted a .990 fielding percentage. Wright also walked (30) more times than he struck out (28). He currently stands 29th nationally in runs scored and 78th in RBI. Two of his home runs were grand slams, one off the Southern Conference single-season record.
His .365 career batting average during his two-year career stands as the sixth-best average in program history. Wright hit 36 doubles and 30 home runs while scoring 136 runs and driving in 115. He was named to the 2009 All-Southern Conference team and to the NCAA Fullerton All-Regional squad.
“Ever since I started playing baseball I wanted to play pro ball. My dad called me first and asked if I heard anything, they had just called my name then the scout from the Padres called. I was waiting on the phone call all day, every time the phone rang my heart went racing,” said Wright. “I didn’t think about it (getting drafted) too much during the season I was concentrating on winning. It didn’t really hit me until last week that I was done playing college baseball. This is a great way to cap off the year.”
Mederos took over the number one starting pitcher role in his first year with the Eagles. In 16 starts he posted an 11-1 record (including a streak of eight consecutive wins to start the year) and 3.83 ERA in 94 innings. He struck out 113 batters to 29 walks. Mederos was named to the SoCon All-Tournament team after striking out 18 batters in 12 innings (including five scoreless against Elon in the tournament championship game).
The First Team All-SoCon pick currently stands ninth nationally in victories and 17th in strikeouts.
“This feels great. We were listening to the broadcast and heard Georgia Southern, but didn’t know who it was then we heard my name. I gave my parents a big hug, this is something I’ve always wanted. It feels really good to cap off my junior year this way,” said Mederos.
The Eagles ended the season 42-17 and Southern Conference Tournament champions. The 42 wins tied for sixth-most in program history. The .712 winning percentage ranked ninth all-time and sixth-best in the Division I era.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 18:20