By Russell Ramsey
Five Bobcats were chosen in this years MLB draft, tying the school record for most selections in a draft. Pitchers Lucas Humpal, Jonathan Hennigan and Pasquale Mazzoccoli will join first baseman Tanner Hill and outfielder Granger Studdard in representing Texas State University at the professional level.
Humpal started the draft strong for the Bobcats after being the 271st overall pick in the ninth round. Hennigan was taken 617th overall in the 21st round followed by Studdard who was the 658th overall selection in the 22nd round. Hill was taken in the 26th round, 776 overall and Mazzoccooli was the final Bobcat taken 1,065 overall in the 35th round.
Hennigan drew attention with a strong finish to the season, throwing 21 strikeouts in his final three games. He threw nine strikeouts in two games this season.
Studdard’s presence as a power hitter will be missed, finishing with 21 home runs in his career. He also had a great year defensively coming no errors in 2016.
Tanner Hill is a name Bobcat baseball won’t soon forget. Finishing his career with 28 home runs, placing him at fourth all time in Bobcat history. Despite his impact as a power hitter, Hill will also be remembered as a true utility player, landing in the top 15 in at-bats, hits, RBI’s, total bases and doubles.
Mazzoccoli had a brief stint at Texas State after a transfer from Blinn last season but made the most of it. In his one year, Mazzoccolli set a new school record for saves in a season with 13 and finished third all time in saves with 28.
Humpal ended 2016 with 85 strikeouts and 108.2 innings pitched, good for second in both categories in the Sun Belt Conference. He gained national recognition after an eleven strikeout, complete game that earned him a National Player of the week award. Humpal owns the strikeout record for Texas State and is a presence that will surely be missed.
This year’s draft class of Bobcats is one of the most talented Texas State has ever sent in one draft. Their production will be missed in San Marcos but it is exciting to watch our fellow Bobcats compete at the next level.