June 8, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina baseball had two more players selected in Saturday's final day of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft as junior right-handed pitcher Jeremy Null and senior shortstop Aaron Attaway were both selected, joining senior catcher Adam Martin who was a 10th-round day two pick.
Null was a 15th round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs with the 439th overall pick, while Attaway was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 594th overall pick in the 20th round. It is the second time Null has been drafted as the Claremont, N.C., native was picked out of high school by the Seattle Mariners in the 37th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
WCU's three selections in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft mark the most for the Catamount since having four drafted in 2009. Under head coach Bobby Moranda, 14 different WCU players have been drafted since 2008.
Preseason Pitcher of the Year in the Southern Conference, Null finished his junior season with 19 career victories for WCU, boasting a career ERA of 3.70. He was honored four times by the league as its pitcher of the week including a conference-leading three times in 2014. He also garnered a pair of Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week plaudits from Collegiate Baseball, as well as a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Pitcher of the Week accolades following his 12-strikeout performance against No. 2 Mississippi State in the 2014 season-opener - the second-consecutive year he opened the season with double-digit Ks.
This past season, the Claremont, N.C., native finished the year with a 6-4 overall record, posting a team-high 93 strikeouts to rank second in the SoCon with a 2.94 ERA - fifth best among SoCon pitchers. He recorded five-or-more strikeouts in 12 of his season appearances, tallying eight-or-more six times. In his final regular season appearance in Cullowhee, Null struck out nine in tossing his first complete game, securing the 2014 SoCon Championship and back-to-back titles for the Catamounts.
Attaway etched his name on the WCU career record books over his four-year career. He ranked 19th in program history in career games played (212), while his 206 career starts rank him eighth on the school ledgers. He started every game of his first three seasons, carrying that streak into his senior campaign until a wrist injury sidelined him during the UNCG series, halting his ironman streak of starting each game at 196.
The Morganton, N.C., product additionally ranks in WCU's career record books in at bats (5th, 858), hits (11th-t, 264), stolen bases (15th-t, 41) and career runs scored (16th-t, 180). He holds the distinction of hitting for the cycle in a game twice - once as a junior in an extra innings win at Furman and again as a senior in a home victory over La Salle.
A three-time preseason All-America selection and the preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year entering his senior campaign, Attaway was a first team All-SoCon selection following his junior year - a season that also saw him grace national award watch lists like the Brooks Wallace Award and Dick Howser Trophy. He hit a career-best .363 as a junior, closing his career with a collective .308 batting average.
Additional WCU Draft Notes:
* With Adam Martin's selection on the second day, Western Carolina had a player selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft for the ninth-straight season - and for the 17th-time in the past 19-years missing just 2004 and 2005 during that same span despite Jared Greenwood signing a free agent contract with the New York Yankees in 2005;
* Adam Martin's 10th round selection is the highest for a Catamount since 2009 when Nick Liles was selected in the seventh round with the 207th pick by the San Francisco Giants;
* Martin is just the third Catamount drafted by the Seattle Mariners all-time - he joins Rick Adair (3rd round, 1979) and Charlie Fonville (38th round, 1984) ... Seattle signed two former WCU players in Kyle Carson (1982) and David Hill (1983) ... WCU has had two former players wear the Mariners' uniform in the Majors - Jerry Reed from 1986-90 and Paul Menhart in 1996;
* Martin is just the second Catamount to be taken in the 10th round all-time, joining Greg Holland who was selected by the Kansas City Royals in 2007 in the 10th round ... Holland, who earned All-Star status a season ago, is the current Royals closer;
* Jeremy Null is just the second Catamount ever taken in the 15th round of the MLB Draft, joining 1998 Colorado Rockies draft pick, pitcher Mark DiFelice ... He is the third Catamount drafted by the Chicago Cubs all-time, joining Corey Martin (27th round, 2009) and Blake Murphy (50th round, 2007) ... the Cubs additionally signed Roy Hurst (1994), Patrick Kendrick (1992) and Keith Ebersole (1978);
* Aaron Attaway is just the second Catamount to be taken in the 20th round of the MLB Draft, joining 2007 Texas Rangers pick - and SoCon Player of the Year - Kenny Smith ... Attaway is the third Catamount player drafted by Toronto all-time, joining Paul Menhart (8th round, 1990) - who went on to play professionally for the Blue Jays - and Brian Hutchinson (40th round, 1998);
* All told, WCU has had three players taken inside the first 100 picks all time, headlined by Rick Adair with the 53rd pick of the third round by the Seattle Mariners in the 1979 draft - WCU's highest all-time ... Brad Tweedie (3rd round, 92nd pick by Cincinnati Reds in 1993) and Jason Beverlin (4th round, 93rd pick by Oakland Athletics in 1994).
2014 Western Carolina MLB Draft Picks