(PHOENIX) — The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) selected right-handed pitcher Braden Shipley (@shipley25) out of the University of Nevada with their first pick (15th overall) in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, according to D-backs' Director, Scouting Ray Montgomery.
Shipley, 21, went 7-3 with a 2.77 ERA (33 ER in 107.1 IP) with 102 strikeouts and 34 walks in 2013. For the second consecutive season, he was named Mountain West Pitcher of the Year (individual winner in 2012, co-winner in 2013) and garnered All-Mountain West Conference First-Team accolades. As a freshman, Shipley started 2 games at pitcher for the Wolf pack while serving primarily as the team's shortstop and earning All-WAC Second-Team honors.
"We're looking for starting pitching and it is something you can never have enough of," said Montgomery. "Braden has three plus pitches and he's one of the best overall athletes in the draft. He's a great kid with a great family and a great pick for us at 15."
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed pitcher was rated by Baseball America as the nation's third-best college pitcher and tabbed by MLB.com as the No. 9 Prospect in today's draft.
"When I talked to coach after my freshman season, I was just trying to do what was best for the team and we felt like that was going to be on the mound," Shipley told MLB Network. "I went into his office and told him I wanted to be the Friday night starter so he kind of laughed and said ‘You have to earn it,' and that's what I did."
"After my sophomore season, I went to Alaska and played in that league and made it a goal of mine to get stronger, gain some weight and work hard up there and the velo(city) jumped up for me and it was just good things for me. Coming back in the fall, I was really excited to show what I had and there was some hype. I'm just really blessed and it's an exciting time for me and my family."
Shipley is the 19th first-round selection for the D-backs and 11th taken from the college ranks. The D-backs had two first-round selections in 2003, 2009 and 2011.
The draft will continue tonight with the Competitive Balance Round A (third selection, 36th overall) and the Second Round (13th selection, 52ndoverall). Rounds 3-10 will take place on Friday starting at 10 a.m. PT and Rounds 11-40 on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT.
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