Jake Boss has taken Michigan Baseball to new heights. At the helm of the Spartans, boss has developed and accumulates some amazing talent. The past few days showed Spartan Nation a lot, with so many players being picked by MLB. Here is the recap and some great video.
Jeff Barnes the MSU SID for baseball sent out these updates on each player. Enjoy:
MLB Draft Update: Cam Vieaux Selected by Pittsburgh in the Sixth Round
Vieaux has a 2.98 career ERA and ranks fourth in program history with 205 strikeouts.
EAST LANSING – Michigan State redshirt junior pitcher Cam Vieaux was selected in the sixth round (No. 195 overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2016 MLB Draft on Friday (June 10) afternoon.
Vieaux was the Spartans’ No. 1 starter all season, going 7-4 with a 2.28 ERA which ranked second in the Big Ten behind teammate Dakota Mekkes. He ranked in the top 15 in the conference in several categories, including ninth in strikeouts (77), 12th in innings pitched (87.0) and 14th in opponent batting average (.234).
His 77 Ks in 2016 bumped his career total to 205, which ranks fourth in MSU history.
The lefty won six of his first nine starts in 2016 and had a sub-2.00 ERA prior to suffering an injury in late April. Nine of his 14 starts were quality starts, going at least six innings and allowing three or fewer earned runs.
Vieaux struck out a season-high 11 vs. Oregon. He tossed his first-career complete game shutout in a win at Purdue on April 15. He also picked up wins against Presbyterian, Butler, USF, Rutgers and Penn State during the regular season.
The native of Novi had one of his best starts of the year in the Big Ten Tournament against Nebraska, holding the Huskers to just one run on three hits in 8.2 innings in a 5-1 MSU win.
As a sophomore in 2015, Vieaux went 4-7 with a 3.49 ERA in a team-high 15 starts. He was drafted by Detroit in the 19th round (580 overall) following the 2015 season, but elected to return to Michigan State for his junior year.
Vieaux was voted to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2014 and was voted the Steve Garvey Most Improved player. He started the year in the bullpen, but made the transition to starter at the beginning of the conference schedule, finishing the year with a 6-5 record and a 3.18 ERA.
He has a 2.98 career ERA, compiled over 48 appearances totaling 248.0 innings.
MLB Draft Update: Jordan Zimmerman Selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the Seventh Round
Zimmerman’s 82 hits in 2016 mark the ninth-highest single-season total in program history.
EAST LANSING – Michigan State junior infielder Jordan Zimmerman was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the seventh round (No. 216 overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft on Friday (June 10).
Zimmerman, a second-team All-Big Ten selection, was voted the Spartans’ MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. He was among the Big Ten leaders in nearly every offensive category all season and finished 2016 second in the conference in batting average (.374) and total bases (130), third in on base percentage (.461), fourth in slugging percentage (.594), fifth in runs scored (50), sixth in hits (82) and seventh in home runs (9).
In league play, he ranked first in batting average (.376), slugging percentage (.667) and tied for the lead in hits (35).
Zimmerman, a transfer from Mesa, Arizona, was the Spartans’ most consistent hitter in 2016, recording at least a hit in 50 of 56 contests, including a 21-game hitting streak – the third longest in school history. He posted a team-high 37 RBIs and 17 doubles.
Against Oregon April 1, Zimmerman went 2-for-5 and won the game for MSU in the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk-off solo home run.
He started all 56 games, including 40 at first base, 14 at second and two as the designated hitter.
MLB Draft Update: Byars Selected in the 24th Round by Minnesota
Byars was named the Spartans’ Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.
EAST LANSING – Michigan State junior catcher Matt Byars was selected in the 24th round (No. 723 overall) by the Minnesota Twins in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday afternoon. Byars is the fourth Spartan to be chosen in this year’s draft.
Byars, who transferred to Michigan State from Heartland Community College (Illinois), caught nearly every game for the Spartans in 2016. The 6-foot-1 native of Lodi, Wisconsin, was behind the plate for 54 of 56 games and appeared in all but one contest.
Byars, who threw out 12 runners during the season, was voted the Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a force at the plate, hitting .284 with 26 RBIs. His 16 doubles were second most on the team and his 11 doubles in Big Ten play led the conference.
He ranked third on the team with four home runs and his 26 RBIs were fourth best.
Byars began the season with hits in 12 of the first 15 games and went on to put together a 16-game hitting streak from April 8 – April 30. The hitting streak was the second longest of the season by Spartan, topped only by Jordan Zimmerman’s 21-game streak.
Byars capped his hitting streak with a 2-for-3, 2 RBI performance in a come-from-behind win over Michigan on April 30.
He ended the year with hits in nine of the final 11 games.
MLB Draft Update: Mekkes Selected in the 10th Round by the Chicago Cubs
EAST LANSING – Michigan State right-handed reliever Dakota Mekkes was selected in the 10th round (No. 314 overall) by the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 MLB Draft on Friday (June 10).
Mekkes showcased one of the league’s most dominant right arms in 2016. The redshirt sophomore ended the season as the NCAA leader in strikeouts per nine innings at 15.16 and hits allowed per nine innings at 4.11.
The native of Jenison led the Big Ten and ranks 12th nationally in ERA at 1.74. He held opponents to a .142 batting average, which also led the conference.
A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Mekkes struck out 96 batters in just 57.0 innings pitched, marking the most strikeouts by an MSU reliever in a single season and the fifth-highest single-season total in school history.
The 6-foot-7 right-hander went 3-2 in a team-high 28 appearances and picked up seven saves in being voted the team’s Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher. Mekkes demonstrated the ability to extend his role beyond that of a typical closer, going at least two complete innings on 16 occasions.
He picked up five saves in Big Ten regular season games, including vs. Rutgers (two), Penn State, Purdue and Nebraska. He struck out a season-high 10 batters in 3.2 innings vs. Indiana on April 24. The following weekend, he held Michigan to two hits over four complete innings, while racking up nine Ks. His longest appearance came May 20 vs. Maryland, when he limited the Terps to one hit over six innings and earned the win in the Spartans’ 4-3, 13-inning victory.
He earned his seventh save with 1.1 innings of work in a 4-3 win over Maryland in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.
In 21 of his 28 appearances he held opponents to no more than one hit.
As a redshirt freshman in 2015, he made nine appearances totaling 12.0 innings, all out of the bullpen.