RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VCU junior pitcher Blake Hauser, and a group of other Commonwealth players were taken on the second day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Hauser was selected in the 13th round by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. King George High School graduate Damion Carroll was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 6th round.
Hauser, the Rams closer this season, was drafted out of high school by the Cleveland Indians in the 17th round in 2009. The right-handed pitcher turned down the Indians' offer so he could attend VCU. Hauser served as a starting pitcher for his first two seasons of his career with the Black & Gold, making 19 starts in 23 appearances.
During the summer of 2011, Hauser pitched in the Cape Cod League, considered the top wood bat collegiate summer league in the country. Hauser helped his team, the Harwich Mariners, capture the league title while serving as the team's closer. He was so successful in the position, that VCU head coach Paul Keyes designated the junior as the closer for VCU for 2012 during the fall practice period.
Hauser put together a strong 2012 season on his way to earning second team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors after making 30 appearances out of the bullpen. He finished the season with a 5-2 record, posted a 3.03 ERA and picked up 10 saves. The 10 saves earned by Hauser is tied for fifth best in VCU single season history. The junior was a strikeout machine for the Black & Gold this past season, fanning 66 batters in 35.2 innings pitched, while limiting the opposition to a .136 batting average.
Three Virginia baseball players were selected Tuesday in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Branden Kline (Jr., Frederick, Md.), Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) and Stephen Bruno (R-So., Audubon, N.J.) all were picked Tuesday in the draft.
Kline was a second-round selection (65th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles. Taylor was picked in the fifth round (161st overall) by the Seattle Mariners, and Bruno was selected in the seventh round (224th overall) by the Chicago Cubs. UVa has had 12 players selected in the top 10 rounds over the last three years and 20 total players overall over the past three seasons.
Kline was a second-team All-ACC pick in 2012 as a starting pitcher, as he went 7-3 with 3.56 ERA. In 93.2 innings, he struck out 94 batters and limited foes to a .241 batting average. Kline moved to the starting rotation this year after earning first-team All-America honors as a sophomore while serving as UVa's closer. He recorded an ACC-record 18 saves last year while helping UVa to the College World Series. In three years, Kline is 16-5 with a 3.22 ERA; in 201.1 innings he has struck out 206 batters.
Kline was drafted for the second time. He was a sixth-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2009 coming out of high school.
Taylor hit .284 with five home runs and 47 RBI in his junior campaign. He played in all 127 games for Virginia for the last two seasons. Taylor has played 156 games in a UVa uniform, with a .297 career batting average and 172 hits. He played some of his baseball during the NCAA tournament, with a .400 career average (22-for-55) in the postseason.
Taylor is the fourth Virginia player selected by Seattle in the last two years. Taylor joins four former Cavaliers currently in the Seattle organization (Andrew Carraway, John Hicks, Danny Hultzen, Steven Proscia).
Bruno had a huge 2012 season, batting .370 and finishing with 88 hits, which is tied for sixth most in a single season in program history. Twenty-three of his 88 hits were doubles, as he matched the single-season UVa doubles record. Bruno started and played in all but one of UVa's games in 2012; he hit six home runs and drove in a team-high 54 RBI. Bruno hit .380 in ACC play in 2011, second best in the league.
Bruno also was drafted for the second time. He was a 26th-round draft pick of the New York Yankees coming out of high school in 2009.
The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 16-40.