Maxwell opens draft for D-III nation

Twelve players were selected in the 2012 MLB draft from Division III schools.  

Bruce Maxwell, C, Birmingham-Southern
Oakland Athletics, second round, No. 62 overall

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 235
Bats: Left. Throws: Right
Hometown: Toney, Ala.

Birmingham-Southern's Bruce Maxwell has been drafted by the Oakland A's in the 2012 MLB draft. He was selected as the second pick of the second round, or 62nd overall, and is BSC's highest draft pick in program history.

Maxwell has had a banner career on the Hilltop, leading the Panthers to the SCAC championship this past season in their first year of eligibility as well as the finals of the NCAA Central Regional in Millington, Tenn.

He was named ABCA/Rawlings and National Player of the Year, as well as SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year and South Region Player of the Year. Maxwell was a First-Team All-America and All-South selection, and First-Team All-SCAC and SCAC All-Tournament.

The junior from Toney, Ala., led the SCAC with a .471 batting average (7th-best in SCAC single-season) and also led the league in homeruns (15), doubles (25), runs scored (56), total bases (142), slugging percentage (.928), on-base percentage (.619) and walks (59 - new SCAC single-season record). He was fourth in runs batted in (48) and second in hits (72).

Brian Rauh, RHP, Chapman
Washington Nationals, eleventh round, No. 354 overall

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Lake Forest, Calif.

Chapman pitcher Brian Rauh was the second D-III baseball player selected in the 2012 MLB draft. He was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 11th round. The three-time All-America junior was the 354th pick overall and becomes the 11th Panther since 1999 to be drafted by an MLB organization.

In three seasons for Chapman, Rauh is 30-1 with a 1.78 ERA and holds Chapman’s all-time strikeouts record with 355 in just 289 innings. The junior put together another outstanding campaign on the mound in 2012, posting an 8-1 record with a 1.27 earned run average while being named first team Division III All-America for the third year in a row.

Rauh owned the third-highest strikeout total in the nation this season with 122 Ks in 92 innings and opponents hit a career-low .159 against the ace right-hander. He also ranked third in Division III in hits allowed per nine innings (5.09).

A talent on and off the field, last week Rauh also became just the third athlete in Chapman history to earn All-America and Academic All-America honors in the same year with a 3.53 GPA in business.

Ben Klimesh, RHP, Trinity (Texas)
Cincinnati Reds, fifteenth round, No. 372 overall

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 220
Bats: Both. Throws: Right
Hometown: Wilmette, Ill.

Trinity (Texas) senior Ben Klimesh was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 15th round of the MLB draft.

This season, Klimesh broke several school and SCAC records in leading Trinity to its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Playoffs. Klimesh became Trinity's record-holder in single season and career strikeouts, as well as single season and career victories. 

He also became the SCAC's strikeout king for both single season and a career, and his numbers also rank him in the top 10 in NCAA Division III history for strikeouts.

Klimesh was 13-3 with a 1.71 ERA in 17 games this season, recording two shutouts and nine complete games for Trinity. He struck out 154 batters and walked just 40 for the year, holding the opposition to a .194 batting average. Klimesh was named the SCAC Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season.

Chris Perry, RHP, Methodist
St. Louis Cardinals, seventeenth round, No. 540 overall

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 215
Bats: Left. Throws: Right
Hometown: Cary, N.C.

Methodist's Chris Perry has been selected in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Perry was the 540th overall pick in the draft and is the 12th player in Methodist baseball history to be drafted.

"I feel so honored to represent Division III baseball and Methodist University as a top-20 round pick," Perry said. "The draft is something I have been dreaming of since I was a little leaguer. I want to thank everyone at Methodist within the athletic department and the baseball program."

The selection is an incredible honor following a stellar season. Perry was a First Team All-Region and Third Team All-America honoree by the American Baseball Coaches Association. The junior from Cary, N.C. earned a 6-2 record with a 2.14 earned run average and team-high 132 strikeouts. Perry led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.6 and ranks second in strikeouts. Earlier this year he was named USA South Pitcher of the Year and received First Team All-Conference and All-Tournament recognition. He wraps up his career ranked fourth at Methodist in career earned run average at 2.33 and boasts an 8-4 record in 23 appearances on the mound.

"We are very excited for Chris," Methodist head coach Tom Austin said. "He has a tremendous work ethic and it took him to a draftable level. Coach (Spencer) Martin did a great job and Chris deserves this honor."

He is the first Methodist player to be drafted since Blake Maxwell was selected by the Boston Red Sox in 2005 and the second highest selection in school history behind Brandon Bridger's 13th round pick in 1993.

Austin Blaski, RHP, Marietta
Milwaukee Brewers, twenty-first round, No. 665 overall

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 200
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Pandora, Ohio

Austin Blaski will be able to continue playing baseball, this time with the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Blaski was selected by the Brewers in the 21st round, 665th overall in the MLB draft.

Blaski was named the National Pitcher of the Year, the second straight Pioneer to win the honor as classmate Brian Gasser earned the honor a year ago.

Blaski, the OAC Kent Tekulve Pitcher of the year and the Mideast Region Pitcher of the Year, has been brilliant on the mound this spring. He is currently 12-1 with a 0.93 earned run average. Blaski has amassed 103 strikeouts in 96 2/3 innings of work.

Tucker Healy, RHP, Ithaca
Oakland Athletics, twenty-third round, No. 709 overall

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Needham, Mass.

Tucker Healy,who recently completed his career with Ithaca, was selected on the third day of the MLB draft. Healy, the sixth player chosen from the Division III ranks, was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the 23rd round with the 709th pick. He's the first Bomber drafted since Shane Wolf and Bryan Gardner were taken in the 2009 draft.

Healy is a four-time Empire 8 all-star (earning first-team honors in 2009, 2010 and 2012). He went 3-3 with six saves this season, compiling a 3.15 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 34.1 innings. His 14.42 strikeouts per nine innigs this spring marked Ithaca's third-highest single-season mark.

In his career, Healy recorded a school-record-tying 16 saves with a 9-5 record. In 59 career appearances (fourth all-time at Ithaca), which includes six starts, he struck out 152 batters in 100.2 innings; his career average of 13.59 (151 strikeouts in 99.1 innings) is second on the program's all-time list and among Division III's 20 best marks.

Richard Palase, 2B, Lynchburg
Seattle Mariners, thirty-second round, No. 971 overall

Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 185
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.

Lynchburg's Richard Palase was drafted this afternoon by the Seattle Mariners in the 32nd round of the MLB draft.

The senior left fielder was selected by the Mariners' organization with the 971st pick of the three-day draft. A versatile athlete, he played shortstop and outfield in his LC career and was taken by Seattle as a second baseman.

A first-team All-ODAC first-team honoree this spring, Palase hit .305 with a nice .432 on-base percentage at the top of the order. With nine doubles, four triples and seven home runs he slugged .533, third best on the team. Palase led the Hornets with 53 runs scored and also drove in 26 runs and stole 12 bases.

"Its an unbelievable feeling," said Palase. "It is nice to see all of my hard work pay off. I still can't believe it, I'm so ecstatic."

Palase is the first Hornet drafted since the spring of 2008, when Ronnie LaBrie was taken in the 37th round by the Washington Nationals.

Tim Saunders, SS, Marietta
Chicago Cubs, thirty-second round, No. 974 overall

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 180
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Alliance, Ohio

Tim Saunders will continue his baseball career with the Chicago Cubs. The D-III World Series MVP was 974th overall pick as Chicago called out his name in the 32nd round.

Saunders, the Mideast Region and Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Year, leads the Pioneers with a .441 batting average, 94 base hits, seven triples, five home runs, 80 runs scored and 41 stolen bases.

Jack Graham, C, Kenyon
Baltimore Orioles, thirty-eighth round, No. 1152 overall

Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 190
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Fairfield, Conn.

Senior catcher Jack Graham was picked by the Baltimore Orioles with their 38th pick, 1152nd overall in the 2012 MLB draft.

Graham tied for fourth in the NCAC with six home runs and was one of the best defensive players in the league with a .994 fielding percentage (one error, 160 chances).

Mitch Glasser, 2B, Macalester

Chicago White Sox, thirty-ninth round, No. 1191 overall

Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 180
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.

Macalester second baseman Mitch Glasser has been drafted by his hometown team and favorite childhood team, the Chicago White Sox.  He was the ninth NCAA Division III player selected in the 2012 draft and was picked in the 39th round.

A four-year standout for the Scots who has gained all-conference and all-region honors, Glasser batted .357 in his Macalester career with 95 runs driven in and 109 runs scored in 148 games.  He was successful on 31-of-37 stolen base attempts and over his last two seasons struck out just four times in 246 at-bats.

Glasser's 180 career hits are fourth on Macalester's all-time list.  As a senior, he batted .325 with 10 stolen bases, and was picked to the Capital One Academic All-District team.  He is believed to be the first Macalester player selected in the major league draft.

“From a personal standout, I'm very happy for Mitch,” said Mac head coach Matt Parrington. “He's put so much into baseball and it is great to see this happen to him. Mitch is one of the better athletes in Division III baseball and is an all-around very good baseball player. The success of our team has been mainly based on his leadership."

Kevin Heller, CF, Amherst
Boston Red Sox, fortieth round, No. 1231 overall

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 205
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kevin Haller, a top ranked prospect in the spring had to wait until the final round to hear his name called. Heller was the 1231st overall pick and the Boston Red Sox's final pick in the MLB draft.

Heller landed on the All-NESCAC First Team for the second time in his career. Since being selected as the conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2009, Heller has established himself as one of the best players to have ever put on an Amherst uniform. He is the program’s all-time leader in hits (172), runs (136), RBIs (126) and total bases (275), also sharing the career home run record (18).

In 2012 Heller led Amherst in doubles (13) and was among the team’s leaders in batting (.374), slugging (.523), on-base percentage (.474), runs scored (28) and RBIs (26). He enjoyed a 12-game hitting streak in April and played a major role during a dominant 12-1 stretch for the Lord Jeffs, as he led the team in hitting (.422), slugging (.578), runs (17) and on-base percentage (.509) from Mar. 30 to Apr. 20. Heller was also 41-for-45 on stolen base attempts during his four years and joins Dave Powers as the program’s only players to record four consecutive 40-hit seasons.

Paul Schwendel, RHP, Emory
Texas Rangers, fortieth round, No. 1235 overall

Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 205
Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Hometown: Alpharetta, Ga.

Emory pitcher Paul Schwendel was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 40th round of the 2012 MLB draft. Schwendel was selected by the reigning American League champions in the final round of the draft, with the 1,236th overall pick.

Schwendel finished the season ranked 10th among all NCAA Division III pitchers with 103 strikeouts and 32nd with 10 strikeouts per nine innings.  The righty finished the year with a 6-4 record and a 3.01 ERA, and the fifth-most strikeouts in a single season in the program's history. Highlights from his season included an 11 strikeout performance in the NCAA Championships against DePauw, and a 13-strikeout game against Methodist.  Schwendel recorded five double-digit strikeout performances over the season, including one in each of his last four starts.
Schwendel ended his career with an overall record of 19-8 and a 4.66 ERA.  His 19 victories are tied for the ninth-most in school history, and his 231 career strikeouts are the seventh-most in Emory baseball history.

Schwendel is the sixth Eagle drafted since Emory reinstated its varsity program in 1991 after a 100-year absence. Twin brothers and pitchers Scott and Jeff Kramer were both drafted in 1994, Scott in the 13th round by the Cleveland Indians and Jeff in the 30th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Third baseman Andrew Pinckney was drafted in 2004 by the Boston Red Sox, and in 2008, third baseman Frank Pfister was selected in the 17th round by the Cincinnati Reds. Outfielder David Hissey was chosen by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 5oth round of the draft.