A pair of former Kansas City high school pitchers heard their names called on the second day of the MLB Draft.
For one, it rang out in a second straight year.
Former Park Hill left-hander Aaron Ashby was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth round (No. 125 overall) of the draft, the second straight year in which he’s been picked.
Four rounds later, the Houston Astros plucked Oklahoma right-hander Austin Hansen with pick No. 252. Hansen graduated from Olathe Northwest.
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Ashby, 20, spent last season at Crowder College, putting together one of the best pitching years in junior college baseball. A 6-1 left-hander, he was 11-2 with a 2.29 earned run average. He threw three no-hitters.
A deeper delve into the numbers allured the scouts. Ashby struck out 156 batters in just 74 2/3 innings, shattering a school record. He has the best strikeout ration per nine innings (18.8) in junior college.
Ashby, the nephew of former big leaguer Andy Ashby, has committed to continue his college career at Tennessee. He has bypassed MLB once before. After his freshman season last spring, the Rangers selected Ashby in the 25th round. He opted instead to stick at Crowder College. The gamble has proven beneficial. The approximate value for the 125th overall selection is $438,300, per MLB.com.
The scouting reports in Ashby detail a lefty with a fastball sitting in the lower 90s and a curveball as an out pitch. He adds in an occasional slider and changeup. Per Baseball America, Ashby has an unorthodox delivery that some scouts worry will hamper his control.
Hansen, 21, is the closer for the Oklahoma Sooners. He appeared in 33 games this spring, all in a relief role, compiling a 2.39 ERA. He struck out 52 batters over 38 innings and recorded nine saves.
Hansen (6-0, 185) has a career 3.02 ERA in three seasons at Oklahoma. He spent time as a starter in his sophomore year before moving into the closer’s role this year as a junior. The approximate value for Hansen's pick is $156,500.