Senior pitcher James Farris, juniors Trent Gilbert and Tyler Parmenter and six Arizona baseball commits were selected last week in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Arizona players and commits selected in the 2014 MLB Draft:
SS – Cole Tucker – 24th overall (1st round — Pittsburgh Pirates)
RHP – Michael Kopech – 33rd overall (1st round — Boston Red Sox)
RHP – James Farris – 259th overall (9th round — Chicago Cubs)
RHP – Jordan Yamamoto – 356th overall (12th round — Milwaukee Brewers)
2B – Trent Gilbert – 462nd overall (15th round — Oakland Athletics)
RHP – Tyler Parmenter – 635th overall (21st round — Cincinnati Reds)
SS – J.J. Matijevic – 674th overall (22nd round — Boston Red Sox)
LF – Darius Day – 696th overall (23rd round — Texas Rangers)
LHP – Cameron Avila-Leeper – 860th overall (29th round — Minnesota Twins)
Including Farris, Gilbert and Parmenter, the 2012 national championship team has now produced 13 MLB draft picks over the last three seasons.
Notable Wildcats that weren’t drafted this year include redshirt sophomore pitcher Cody Hamlin, junior pitcher Mathew Troupe and junior catcher Riley Moore.
“I was very surprised with Hamlin not getting signed,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “I think we caught kind of a break there and I’m very thankful for our benefit. I know [Hamlin] is excited to get back along with Mathew Troupe. Troupe was thinking he might get drafted as well even though he had Tommy John surgery in the beginning of March.”
Players respond to being drafted:
Farris, who returned for his senior year to be the ace of the Wildcats’ rotation after being drafted in the 15th round last year by the Houston Astros, saw his perseverance pay off.
By returning for his senior season, the Phoenix native bolstered his stock and improved his position in the Draft by six rounds.
“Farris worked hard all year and it really showed,” Parmenter said. “I wish him the best of luck in the future.”
Gilbert said he was excited but also a bit relieved when he heard his name called on the final day of the Draft.
“I was expecting to go a little earlier, but in all honesty I was just happy to see my name up on the board,” Gilbert said.
Parmenter hung up his Wildcat jersey for good when he officially signed with the Reds this Monday, putting to rest any speculation about returning for his senior year to boost his draft stock.
“He wants to get a shot at pro ball and it’s a good move for him,” Lopez said. “I wish all guys would come back and get their senior year in, but he needed to go out and start pitching on a regular basis.”
Out of high school, the Tampa Bay Rays drafted Parmenter as a shortstop in the 15th round. He entered Arizona’s program as a position player, specifically the backup shortstop to Alex Mejia and then to Kevin Newman.
However, Parmenter didn’t find his niche until his junior season, when he was converted into a relief pitcher.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity and really blessed to have this happen to me,” Parmenter said. “The coaching staff here was really great with me, really patient and actually gave me a plan to see what I could do and how I could improve each season. This year, it ended up turning out for the best. All of my hard work is finally showing.”
— Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17