Eight players from HBCUs were taken in the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft on Wednesday, including the reigning MEAC conference Player and Pitcher of the Year.
Norfolk State led the group with two draft picks.
|Player||School||Drafted By||Round Drafted|
|Demetrius Sims||Bethune-Cookman||Miami Marlins||14th|
|Bryce Brown||Jackson State||Tampa Bay Rays||15th|
|Noah "Cutter" Dyals||N.C. A&T State||Atlanta Braves||17th|
|Aubrey McCarty||Florida A&M||Colorado Rockies||26th|
|Devin Hemmerich||Norfolk State||Los Angeles Dodgers||26th|
|Alex Mauricio||Norfolk State||New York Yankees||27th|
|Tanner Raiburn||Grambling State||Boston Red Sox||33rd|
|Austin Bizzle||Alabama State||Minnesota Twins||40th|
Sims was a First Team All-MEAC selection at shortstop this past season, helping Bethune-Cookman win its 19th MEAC championship and advance to the first NCAA regional final in school and conference history. He was also a MEAC All-Tournament Team selection.
Brown, a Walker, La. native helped lead the Tigers' to a conference best 38-17-1 (20-4 SWAC) record in 2017 in route to an east division title. A first team All-SWAC selection, he led Jackson State in batting average (.374) on base percentage (.514) and was fifth on the team in hits (33). Brown led all SWAC hitters in on base percentage and ranked second overall in the conference in batting average.
Dyals was named First Team All-MEAC, coming out of the bullpen to help the Aggies finish second in the MEAC Southern Division this past season -- after being picked to finish last in a preseason poll. He was 6-0 this season with seven saves and an 0.50 ERA.
McCarty was named Second Team All-MEAC as a utility player this past season.
Hemmerich is the reigning MEAC Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-MEAC selection. He was also named to the MEAC All-Tournament Team, and he became Norfolk State's first Div. I All-American, as named by Collegiate Baseball News, after breaking the school record in both career and single-season strikeouts.
Mauricio is the reigning MEAC Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award. He helped the Spartans win their third straight MEAC Northern Division regular-season title and advance to the title round of the MEAC Championship.
Raiburn is the first Tiger to be drafted since Edwin Drexler, who was taken in the 38th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. This past season, he earned second-team All-SWAC honors after starting a team-high 13 games and going 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA. He ranked fourth in the conference in ERA and tied for the team lead in innings pitched (76.1). He also led the Tiger pitchers with 84 strike outs and opposing batters only hit .256 against him.
Bizzle ranked near the top of the SWAC in a number of different statistical categories this season. The Panama City, Fla. native was third in the conference in ERA (1.27), fourth in strikeouts (78), tied for fifth in saves with 3 and ranked sixth in the league with 7 wins.