Michigan State Spartans In The Major League Baseball Draft


I am so excited for this website because clearly Detroit sports are superior. You have the Tigers, the Wings, the Pistons, Lions, Spartans and I GUESS you can include the Wolverines.

For now though its baseball season, and only baseball season. Don’t worry, we are slowly but surely counting down the days until the fall, when football season starts. But for now here is a bit of Spartan baseball news for you!

Now that the MLB draft is over and the dust has settled after an agonizing 3 days and 50 rounds worth of draft picks, its time to take a look at where your Spartans ended up. For those of you who may not follow the inner workings of the MLB, getting drafted really doesn’t mean jack squat (I am not permitted to use a better word there). Even if you are drafted in the second round there is no guarantee that you ever make it out of Mahoning Valley, Ohio. Yes, I had to give a shout out to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. They’re my team.

Anyway, here’s how the B1G Ten Champions fared in the draft:

(after the jump)

Senior first baseman Jeff Holm was selected in the 12th round (377 overall) of the by the greatest team in the land, the Detroit Tigers. Did you really think I was a fan of the Scrappers? Come on… Holm’s statement on the matter: “This is an awesome feeling. I’d been listening for a couple of hours and hadn’t heard anything, and as soon as I stopped paying attention, I heard Michigan State and ran over to the computer and saw my name. A lot of my teammates were into the Tigers, so I did become a Tigers fan, and playing at Comerica Park was pretty special too.”

This is really awesome. Anytime a Spartan can get drafted by one the team right down the road, it automatically becomes special. (Praying for the Pistons to draft Kalin Lucas) While Jeff Holm was one of the most productive first basemen in the B1G Ten, he is listed on the Detroit Tigers website as an outfielder, where he is expected to play come his time in the minors. “I’m excited to try both spots, so whatever they need me to do, I’d be more than happy to do it.” said Holm.

The senior Third Team All American finished his senior season with a batting average of .316, 9 homeruns, 61 RBI’s, 20 stolen bases and a fielding percentage of .996.

The second Spartan to get drafted to the MLB was pitcher, Kurt Wunderlich. Wunderlich was drafted in the 20th round (616 overall) by the Oakland Athletics. Kurt, who finished his senior season by posting a very impressive 10-2 record and a 3.19 ERA, received First Team All Big Ten Honors.

“I’m a little bit speechless,” said Wunderlich. “It feels good that the nerves are all gone and that I got drafted. I was trying to do anything and everything not to watch. My mom called me and told me – she was watching it at work. I’m just smiling because I’m so happy right now.”

The third and final Spartan to get drafted was center fielder, Bradon Ecklre. He was picked in the 32nd round, at 977 overall, once again, by the Detroit Tigers. Ecklre, who was the Big Ten batting champ, hit .379 this season and is very excited to play for his home team: “It’s pretty awesome – getting drafted by any team would have been a great feeling, but growing up a Tigers fan, it made it even more special. It goes to show all of the hard work paid off. Ever since I was a little kid, the goal was to play professional baseball, and now I’m fortunate enough to get that opportunity.”

Ecklre had a historic season by winning the 2011 batting crown and setting and Michigan State single season hit record with 96. He also earned Academic All Big Ten Honors.

There were also 4 incoming freshmen who were drafted. Blaise Salter  in the 38th round, (No. 1157) was picked by Detroit. Ryan Krill in the 40th round, No. 1217 overall, drafted by Detroit. Jimmy Pickens in the 41st round, No. 1247 overall by the Tigers. And Mick VanVossen in the 49th round, No. 1494 overall, by Texas. It is likely though that these kids will play at Michigan State before going to the pros.