FORT MYERS, Fla. – The 33rd round on the third day of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday featured a pair of FGCU baseball players, as senior right-hander Jack Wagoner (Berlin, Conn./Northwest Catholic HS/St. Petersburg) and senior shortstop Stephen Wickens (Whitby, Ontario/Sinclair Secondary) became the third and fourth Eagles, respectively, selected in the last two days. Wagoner was drafted by the Cleveland Indians with pick 998, while Wickens was taken with the 1018th choice by the Minnesota Twins.
The pair of Eagles taken in the 33rd round marked one of 10 times in this year’s draft that two or more players from the same program were taken in one round. UCLA (Rd. 1), Clemson (Rd. 2), Vanderbilt (Rd. 3), Cal State Fullerton (Rd. 3), Gonzaga (Rd. 7), Oklahoma (Rd. 14), Fresno State (Rd. 22), Cal State Dominguez (Rd. 32) and West Florida (Rd. 36) were the other nine.
On Tuesday, incoming freshman Granden Goetzman (Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto HS) was taken in the second round (No. 75) by the Tampa Bay Rays and junior right-hander Jacob Barnes (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg HS) went to the Milwaukee Brewers with the 431st overall pick in the 14th round.
Wagoner made the transition from a reliever to a starter as a senior in 2011. The Berlin, Conn. product posted a 5-3 record and 4.53 ERA over 18 appearances, including eight starts. Wagoner’s five wins (5-3) tied for the team lead, while he struck out 53 batters compared to 25 walks for a solid 2.5 strikeout/walk ratio. Four of his five wins on the mound came against Atlantic Sun foes, going five or more innings in seven of eight starts.
Named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List prior to this season, Wagoner had a school single-season record nine saves in his first year with the team in 2010. He made 25 appearances in 2010, the second-most in single-season history. Wagoner concluded his career with a 6-6 record, 4.30 ERA and 81 strikeouts over 92 innings of work.
Wickens manned the shortstop position 204 times over his illustrious four-year career in the Blue and Green, accumulating a .320 batting average. A native of Whitby, Ontario, he hit over .350 as a sophomore and junior. Wickens’ 92 hits and 62 runs scored in 2010 both rank second in the single-season record books falling just shy of the marks set by teammate Mikel Alvarez that same season.
His 259 career hits rank third all-time, as Wickens worked his way into the top five of eight different career statistical categories. Wickens was named an A-Sun preseason All-Conference choice prior to his senior campaign after earning All-Conference first team status in 2010. Also as a junior, he was named a quarterfinalist for the Brooke Wallace Shortstop of the Year award. Out of 205 career games played, Wickens produced a hit in 150 contests, highlighted by 79 multi-hit performances.
In all, the Atlantic Sun Conference had 18 current players drafted, equaling the second-best total set in 2009. The conference record of 21 draftees came in 2006. It’s been a banner year for the A-Sun, as it sent three teams into the NCAA Tournament (Belmont, Jacksonville, Stetson) and was ranked No. 7 in WarrenNolan.com’s conference RPI ratings for most of the season.
Both Barnes and Goetzman have the option of joining the Eagles in the fall if they don’t sign a professional contract with the organizations that drafted them.