Rafters well represented in MLB draft: Twelve players were selected
For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Twelve Wisconsin Rapids Rafters were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft. Eleven former Rafters and one current are now on the path to the “Big Leagues.”
Richard Palacios, fourth-year junior from Towson University, was selected in the third round of the draft. Palacios was the 103rd overall pick and went to the Cleveland Indians. He was a shortstop during the 2016 Summer Collegiate World Series Championship season. Palacios appeared in 16 games during the 2016 season, four of which were during the NWL Playoffs. He recorded 18 runs, 26 hits, five doubles, 12 RBIs and posted a .366 batting average.
Jacson McGowan of Purdue University, fourth-year junior first baseman, was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 11th round. McGowan was the 33rd overall pick and was with the Rafters in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. McGowan took on a pitching and infielder roles for the Rafters. During the 2016 season he recorded six runs, 17 hits, eight RBIs and a .304 batting average in 25 games played.
Isaiah Carranza was selected in the 12th round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. He was the 348th overall pick. The fourth-year junior from Azusa Pacific University was a pitcher for the Rafters in the 2017 season. During his time with the Rafters, Carranza had a record of six wins and zero losses. He totaled 10 games with eight starts, pitched 52.1 innings, and struck out 14 batters.
Drafted in the 13th round was Charlie McConnell. This 2017 Rafter was selected by the Seattle Mariners as the 388th pick. McConnel is a fourth-year junior outfielder from Northeastern University. McConnell appeared in 57 games in the 2017 season. He recorded 67 hits, nine doubles, 20 RBIs, and a home run.
The Houston Astros drafted Alex Holderbach in the 16th round. The Eastern Kentucky catcher was the 492nd overall. Holderbach was with the Rafters in the 2017 season. Holderbach boasted the highest batting average of the 2017 Rafters with a .447 batting average. He scored eight runs for the Rafters with 17 hits, seven RBIs, and two home runs.
Valparaiso catcher Scott Kapers was drafted in the 14th round by the Texas Rangers. Kapers was the 509th overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft. Kapers was with in Wisconsin Rapids for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. During the 2017 season, Kapers appeared in 49 games. He recorded 22 runs on 31 hits, 12 of which were doubles and four home runs. He also added 22 RBIs.
Jonah Bride of South Carolina University was the 683rd overall draft pick. He was selected by the Oakland A’s in the 23rd round. The senior third baseman was with the Rafters in the 2015 season. During his tenure with the Rafters, he recorded six runs, 10 hits, five hits and a stolen base.
Logan Mattix was drafted to the Houston Astros in the 25th round as the 762nd overall pick. The centerfielder from Georgia College and State University was with Wisconsin Rapids in the 2016 season. Mattix recorded 34 runs and 51 hits during his time with the Rafters.
Grambling State fifth year senior Marshawn Taylor was drafted to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 28th round. Taylor was the 849th overall pick and spent his time in the Northwoods League with the Rafters in 2014. Taylor spent three games with the Rafters.
Layne Henderson was the 912th overall pick and went to the Houston Astros. The senior RHP was drafted in the 30th round. Henderson attends Azusa Pacific University and spent the 2017 summer with the Rafters. He appeared as the closer for the Rafters pitching 25.1 innings. Henderson gave up only five hits and four earned runs, punching out 49. He also posted 13 RBIs.
The only current Rafter drafted was right-handed pitcher Charlie Ruegger. Ruegger was selected in the 33rd round to the New York Yankees. Ruegger is a Stevens Institute of Technology fourth year junior. The 997th overall pick in this year’s draft, Ruegger set the Stevens Institute of Technology record for most strikeouts in a season with 97.
The final Rafters drafted was from the 2016 season. Andrew Turner from Long Island University was selected by the Miami Marlins as the 1167th overall pick during the 39th overall round. Tuner appeared in 10 games for the Rafters. He recorded two runs, four hits, a double and two RBIs.