3 more Cats get professional baseball call - Tucson News Now

3 more Cats get professional baseball call

TUCSON, Ariz. – A trio of pitchers for the University of Arizona baseball team were selected on the final day of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft to push the school's total to six draftees over the three-day, 40-round event.

Junior right-hander James Farris was called with the first pick of the 15th round and 437th overall by the Houston Astros. Senior righty Nick Cunningham was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 609th overall pick in the 20th round, and senior lefty Augey Bill also went to the Orioles in the 39th round with the 1,179th overall selection.

A native of Gilbert, Ariz., Farris has been a starting pitcher in the weekend rotation over the last two seasons. Farris has appeared in 34 games and made 32 career starts for the Wildcats, posting a 12-8 record and a 4.22 earned run average. He has 147 strikeouts and only 46 walks in 206.2 innings pitched.

A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Cunningham appeared in 66 games and threw 96.0 innings while serving a variety of roles in his four-year career. Cunningham went 4-4 with six saves and a 5.16 earned run average. He racked up 80 strikeouts against 43 strikeouts mostly as a reliever, but did make three starts.

A native of Danville, Calif., Bill turned in a strong senior season for the Wildcats in which he set career highs for appearances, innings pitched and strikeouts. The Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention selection posted a 4-1 record with two saves and a team-best 1.98 earned run average in 27.1 innings pitched. He appeared in 48 career games and made one start for the Wildcats, totaling a 5-2 record and three saves over 48.1 innings.

The 2012 national championship club has produced 11 total draft picks over the last two seasons. Alex Mejia (4th round, St. Louis Cardinals), Robert Refsnyder (5th, New York Yankees), Kurt Heyer (6th, St. Louis Cardinals, Seth Mejias-Brean (8th, Cincinnati Reds) and Joey Rickard (9th, Tampa Bay Rays) each departed after their junior seasons last summer.

DRAFT NOTES: All-time, 226 Arizona baseball players have been drafted, including 87 in the last 15 seasons ... Of those 226 selections, 60 have been taken in the first five rounds ... A total of 58 players have been drafted since Andy Lopez was named the coach prior to the 2002 season (11 have reached the big leagues) ... The Wildcats have had 19 players drafted over the last three drafts … Eleven Wildcats have been selected in the first 10 rounds over the last three drafts ... Arizona has had at least one pick in 16-conseuvtive drafts with 1997 being the last year a Wildcat was not selected.

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