High School Sports

Olathe Northwest trio picked on third day of baseball draft

Austin Fisher was a shortstop for Olathe Northwest High School.
Austin Fisher was a shortstop for Olathe Northwest High School. The Kansas City Star

Former Olathe Northwest teammates Austin Fisher and Ryan Taylor were selected back-to-back Saturday in the 13th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“The odds have to be astronomical,” Olathe Northwest athletic director Jay Novacek said.

Fisher, a junior shortstop at Kansas State, was selected 398th overall by Cleveland and Taylor, a senior right-hander at Arkansas Tech, was picked by the Dodgers 399th overall.

“That was crazy,” Fisher said. “I actually didn’t even know until two minutes after (Taylor) was picked, because we so excited and I didn’t even hear the next pick, but I’m really happy for Ryan. It couldn’t happen to a better person.”

Taylor and his parents, Mike and Marcy, were monitoring the draft as well and were still buzzing about Fisher’s selection when he got picked.

“That was funny,” Taylor said. “I had stepped away from the computer for a second and my parents were going crazy. We were surprised it happened that way, but glad it worked out that way.”

Fisher batted .300 last season with two home runs and 34 RBIs, while Taylor went 6-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 appearances, including 15 starts. He struck out 86 with 45 walks in 88 2/3 innings.

Another former Raven, Middle Tennessee State junior right-hander Matt Blackham, was selected by the Mets in the 29th round. He went 1-2 with a 4.83 ERA in 25 appearances, including four starts, striking out 49 in 41 innings. He also had played at Johnson County Community College.

More KC natives selected

Earlier Saturday, West Virginia left-hander John Means, a Gardner Edgerton graduate from Olathe, kicked off a big day for players with local ties when he was drafted by the Orioles in the 11th round (No. 331).

Means, 21, a junior who started at Fort Scott Community College, went 6-2 with 3.13 ERA in 12 starts last season for the Mountaineers. He struck out 46 with 18 walks in 69 innings, including one complete game.

Lawrence senior and Missouri commit Bryce Montes de Oca, a 6-foot-8 right-hander, was selected by the White Sox in the 14th round (No. 408).

Montes de Oca underwent ulnar collateral ligament replacement, commonly known as Tommy John surgery, last season, but he returned to the mound competitively in April and resumed throwing a mid-90s fastball.

Coffeyville (Kan.) sophomore third baseman Chase Rader, a Shawnee Mission Northwest graduate, went to the Tigers in the 16th round (No. 490). Rader, the reigning Jayhawk Conference East division MVP, batted .434 with 14 home runs, 18 doubles, 47 steals and 53 RBIs last season.

Purdue senior catcher Sean McHugh, a Blue Valley North graduate, went to the Phillies in the 18th round (No. 532). He batted .297 with 14 doubles, four home runs and 28 RBIs last season.

Cleveland chose Maplewoods freshman third baseman Nathan Winfrey, a Liberty graduate, in the 28th round (No. 848). He batted .311 with six home runs and 39 RBIs last season.

The Angels snagged Northern Illinois senior right-hander Alex Klonowski, a Kearney graduate, in the 29th round (No. 869). He went 4-6 with a 2.38 ERA in 14 starts, including four complete games and three shutouts last season. He struck out 64 with 31 walks in 94 2/3 innings.

Oklahoma State junior right-hander Jon Perrin, an Olathe East graduate, was selected by the Tigers in the 33rd round (No. 1,000). He went 8-5 with a 2.38 ERA in 21 appearances, including 13 starts, striking out 81 with 29 walks in 102 innings.

Cowley County freshman right-hander Storm Rynard, a Ray-Pec graduate, was selected by the Rangers in the 34th round (No. 1,026).

The Toronto Blue Jays picked outfielder Trent Miller of Middle Tennessee State in the 40th round (No. 1,194). He graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas.

Kansas quintet drafted

Five Kansas players were drafted led by senior right-hander Frank Duncan, who was selected by the Pirates in the 13th round (No. 401 overall), and junior center fielder Michael Suiter, who was selected by the White Sox in the 24th round (No. 708).

Duncan went 6-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 16 starts, including five complete games. He struck out 82 with 14 walks in 118 2/3 innings, while Suiter batted .322 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 42 RBIs.

Senior right-hander Jordan Piche was selected by the Angels in the 28th round (No. 839), senior outfielder Tucker Tharp went to the Mets in the 30th round (No. 895) and junior right-hander Robert Kahana was chosen by the Astros in the 32nd round (No. 946).

Piche was 6-5 with a 4.59 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings during 24 appearances, including eight starts, and Kahana went 4-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 15 starts.

Tharp, the son of former Colorado athletic director Dick Tharp, batted .310 with 15 doubles, six home runs and 39 RBIs. He led the Jayhawks with 11 steals and 15 hit by pitches.

Meanwhile, Wichita State had three players selected.

Junior right-hander A.J. Ladwig went to the Tigers in the 11th round (No. 340 overall), senior third baseman Chase Simpson went to the Pirates in the 14th round (No. 431) and junior catcher Tyler Baker went to the Diamondbacks in the 15th round (No. 450).

Other notable selections

Neosho County (Kan.) sophomore third baseman Connor Goedert, an Ottawa graduate, was selected by the Astros in the 15th round (No. 436). He batted .444 with 19 home runs, 21 doubles, 76 runs scored and 90 RBIs for the Panthers last season.

Central Missouri senior left-hander Zach Davis, who previously played at Longview Community College, went to the Astros in the 25th round (No. 736).

Missouri State senior catcher Eric Cheray was selected Saturday in the 17th round (No. 522) by the Athletics and Bears senior right-hander Cody Schumacher was chosen by the Cardinals in the 36th round (No. 1,095).

Southeast Missouri senior first baseman Matt Tellor was selected Friday in the 10th round (No. 313) by Atlanta.

Former Missouri right fielder Gerrion Grim was selected by the Orioles in the 14th round (No. 421). He was a redshirt freshman at Jefferson College.

Notable national picks

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round.

The Washington Nationals selected Ryan Ripken, the son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., in the 15th round.

The New York Yankees’ 29th-round pick has a familiar name: Mariano Rivera III. He’s the son of the former record-breaking closer.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.