Five Waves Selected in 2017 MLB Draft
Pepperdine has had a total of 33 former players go on to play in the majors.
MALIBU, Calif. – The 2017 Major League Baseball Draft wrapped up on Wednesday and five Pepperdine players were selected by MLB teams.
On the second day of the draft Max Green was selected in the eighth round by the Detroit Tigers and Austin Bernard was taken in the 10th round by the Colorado Rockies. On Wednesday’s third and final day of the draft, Max Gamboa was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 18th round, Ryan Wilson was taken in the 33rd round by the Baltimore Orioles and Ben Rodriguez was selected in the 38th round by the Minnesota Twins.
It is the sixth straight year Pepperdine has had multiple players selected in the MLB Draft and the 10th year since the institution of the amateur draft that the Waves have had at least five players selected.
Green was the first Wave off the board and the 245th player overall selected when the Tigers took him in the eighth round. The junior left-handed pitcher tossed 67.1 innings during his time at Pepperdine, compiling a 4.41 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 19 walks. Green posted a career-low 3.86 ERA in limited action out of the bullpen this past season.
Bernard was the 296th player selected overall when the Rockies took him in the 10th round. The junior catcher hit .234 in limited action this season, but was coming off a summer in which he impressed scouts during play in the Northwoods League after converting from an infielder to a catcher the year prior.
Yet another junior selection was Max Gamboa after being picked up by the Dodgers in the 18th round (550 overall). Gamboa, a right-handed starting pitcher for the Waves this last season, posted a career 3.81 ERA over 132.1 innings during his time in Malibu. Also a reliever early in his collegiate career, Gamboa posted nine career saves and 129 career strikeouts.
Wilson, a junior lefty, was taken by the Orioles in the 33rd round as the 998th overall selection in the draft. He was the Waves’ ace this past season and posted a 3.61 ERA, striking out 72 batters in 89.2 innings of work. As a sophomore reliever for Pepperdine in 2016, Wilson put up a miniscule 0.63 ERA, .128 opponent batting average and notched six saves, earning All-WCC second team honors. He earned WCC All-Freshman team honors in 2015, going 8-3 with a 3.78 ERA. For his career, Wilson had a 3.13 ERA in 230.0 innings pitched.
Ben Rodriguez, a redshirt junior first-baseman, was the 1,126th selection of the draft after being picked by the Twins in the 38th round. A career .252 hitter, Rodriguez compiled 90 hits, 63 RBI and 56 runs scored. He posted 14 homers on his career, including five this past season and nine in 2016. Rodriguez led the Waves this year, driving in a career-high 31 runs.
All five players still have collegiate eligibility remaining and will now negotiate with their respective clubs before deciding to turn professional.