LU's Dziedzic and Johnson selected in MLB Draft
NEW YORK - Jonathan Dziedzic became the highest Lamar draft pick since 2007 on Saturday and Darian Johnson followed him later in the afternoon as the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft concluded.
Dziedzic, a 37th round selection a year ago by the Boston Red Sox, was chosen by the Kansas City Royals this time around in the 13th round with the 384th overall pick. Johnson was also taken by an American League Central Division member, going to the Chicago White Sox in the 32nd round, coming in at 963rd overall.
Dziedzic had another impressive year on the mound as the left-hander struck out 106 batters in 107.2 innings of work, holding opposing hitters to just a .219 batting average. Perhaps most notably, he saved his best for last this season, coming up just one out short of a no-hitter in the Southland Tournament, sending regular season champion Sam Houston State home.
The redshirt-junior out of Humble is the only pitcher in school history to top 100 strikeouts in a season twice. For his career, he stands alone atop the LU record list in the category with 317, more than 40 clear of second place.
Dziedzic is the fourth-ever Card to get drafted by the Royals and the first since 1999. Former major leaguer Brian Sanches was selected by Kansas City that year before going on to play for the Phillies, Nationals and Marlins.
Johnson, a two-time All-Southland selection, led the conference with 89 hits, which is tied for the third-most in school history. He also posted team-best totals in batting average (.371) and runs batted in (47). The Chandler, Ariz., native leaves Lamar after starting all 111 games over the previous two seasons with a career average of .358, the fifth-best mark for a Card ever.
Kim Christensen is the only other Lamar player to get drafted by the White Sox, getting picked in the 15th round in 1982.
Also getting drafted was LU signee Adrian Castano. An all-city honoree out of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens, N.Y., the outfielder was picked 786th overall by the Detroit Tigers in the 26th round.
Overall, 14 players out of the Southland were drafted this week, led by conference tournament champion Central Arkansas with three. Lamar joined Oral Roberts, Sam Houston State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with two apiece. Hunter Dozier out of Stephen F. Austin and ORU's Alex Gonzalez both went in the first round, going eighth and 23rd, respectively, to the Royals and Rangers.
Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT