Program-Record Eight Deacs Picked in MLB Draft

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A program record eight Demon Deacons were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, which took place June 12-14.

Wake Forest also set records with four selected in the top 10 rounds, six in the top 20 rounds and all eight coming in the top 30 rounds. The Deacs' previous record for draftees in a season was six in 2012.

Following the second-round selections of Stuart Fairchild and Gavin Sheets on Monday, Parker Dunshee and Ben Breazeale each went in the seventh round on Tuesday. Wednesday selections included Donnie Sellers, Jonathan Pryor, Connor Johnstone and Griffin Roberts.

"To have eight players given the opportunity to pursue their dreams is a testament to the talent, work ethic and dedication of this group of upperclassmen," head coach Tom Walter said. "I couldn't be happier or more proud of them for their many baseball accomplishments, but the best part is that they are even better human beings. We will be seeing great things from these young men for years to come."

Dunshee was the 201st overall pick of the Oakland A's as a senior after being selected 434th overall in the 14th round last year as a junior. The two-time All-ACC selection finishes with a 28-10 career record and 3.20 ERA, and is Wake Forest's all-time strikeout leader with 330. This year, Dunshee went 9-1 with a 3.91 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 103.2 frames.

Breazeale was the 218th overall selection by the Baltimore Orioles. He was drafted for the first time as a senior after going undrafted out of high school and as a junior. An All-American catcher this year, Breazeale hit .333 with 16 doubles, 11 homers and 51 RBIs. He also threw out seven of 19 runners (36.8 percent) of runners trying to steal on him behind the plate.

Sellers was an 11th-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, going 339th overall. He transitioned into the weekend rotation this year after starting his career as a reliever, and went 3-5 with a 4.71 ERA. He struck out 60 batters in 84.0 innings, allowing opponents to hit just .259 against him.

Pryor was picked in the 19th round, No. 583 overall, by the Washington Nationals. He also went undrafted out of high school and his junior season. Pryor was an All-ACC honoree for the first time this year, as he finished with a .354 average, 21 doubles, four homers, 35 RBIs and five stolen bases. He hit better than .300 in his career with 19 stolen bases.

Johnstone was the third Deacon to go undrafted out of high school and junior year before being picked as a senior, as he was nabbed by the Atlanta Braves with the 620th overall pick in the 21st round. Johnstone had a breakout season, finishing 8-0 with a 3.61 ERA in 15 starts on the mound. He recorded career-bests in innings pitched (92.1), strikeouts (69), and opponent average (.248).

Roberts was selected by the Minnesota Twins with the first pick of the 29th round, No. 856 overall. A draft-eligible sophomore, Roberts emerged as the Deacons' closer and set a program record with 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He went 2-5 with a 2.19 ERA and eight saves, striking out 80 batters in 53.1 innings, as foes hit just .160 against him.

2017 signee Shane Muntz was selected by the San Diego Padres with the No. 1068 pick in the 36th round. Muntz was recruited to Wake Forest as a catcher/right-handed pitcher.

Rd. - Name, Pos., Yr. - Team (Overall Pick)
2 - Stuart Fairchild, OF, Jr. - Cincinnati Reds (38)
2 - Gavin Sheets, 1B, Jr. - Chicago White Sox (49)
7 - Parker Dunshee, RHP, Sr. - Oakland Athletics (201)
7 - Ben Breazeale, C, Sr. - Baltimore Orioles (218)
11 - Donnie Sellers, RHP, Jr. - Toronto Blue Jays (339)
19 - Jonathan Pryor, OF, Sr. - Washington Nationals (583)
21 - Connor Johnstone, RHP, Sr. - Atlanta Braves (620)
29 - Griffin Roberts, RHP, So., - Minnesota Twins (856)
36 - Shane Muntz, C, HS Signee - San Diego Padres (1068)

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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