Angels Select Sappington in Fifth Round of MLB DraftJune 5, 2012

Rockhurst University’s highly-rated right-hander Mark Sappington was selected in the fifth round (177th overall) by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft today, becoming the highest draft pick in the history of the Rockhurst baseball program.

“It feels great to get drafted by an organization as good as the Angels,” Sappington said. “I was optimistic that I would get drafted about where I was picked. I can’t wait to play at the next level.”

The Peculiar, Mo., native dominated in his third year for the Hawks, going 10-3 with a 1.78 ERA. In 96.0 innings pitched, Sappington led the Great Lakes Valley Conference in strikeouts with 101. He was among the NCAA Division II leaders in strikeouts (10th), ERA (28th), hits allowed per nine innings (28th), and strikeouts per nine innings (44th).

“This is a great accomplishment and a fantastic opportunity for Mark,” said Rockhurst baseball coach Gary Burns. “This is a good day for our baseball program and for Rockhurst University.”

The 6-foot-5, 209-pound All-American tossed back-to-back complete game victories against Quincy in the GLVC Tournament and Grand Valley State in the NCAA Midwest Regional. Sappington stuck out 12 and allowed only three hits in a 3-1 win over Quincy in the GLVC Tournament on May 10. He also struck out 12 in a 7-1 win at nationally-ranked Missouri S&T on April 16. In his sophomore season, Sappington posted a 6-4 record and 3.51 ERA with 67 strikeouts in 82 innings.

The scouting report on the mlb.com web site said Sappington was one of the better options from the Division II college ranks. “Sappington has grown and seen his stuff improve considerably at Rockhurst. With an ideal pitcher’s frame, the right-hander has excellent arm strength and should have a plus fastball when all is said and done. His slider has the chance to be plenty good.”

Watch a Metro Sports interview with Mark Sappington here. 

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