Twenty-Six Big Ten Baseball Players Taken in 2008 Major League Baseball Draft
June 9, 2008
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Twenty-six Big Ten baseball players were selected in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft, held June 5-6. Seven student-athletes were taken on Day 1 of the event, marking the highest total of Big Ten players taken in the top six rounds in the past decade.
Purdue reliever Josh Lindblom was the conference's first draft selection, tabbed in the second round by the Los Angeles Dodgers as the 61st overall pick.
Also taken on the first day of the draft were fourth-rounders Kyle Hudson of Illinois (116th overall to Baltimore Orioles), Drew O'Neil of Penn State (120th overall to Chicago White Sox) and Ryne White of Purdue (138th overall to Arizona Diamondbacks). Rounding out Day 1 of the draft were Michigan's Jason Christian (5th round to Oakland Athletics) and Zach Putnam (5th round to Cleveland Indians) and Ohio State's J.B. Shuck (6th round to Houston Astros).
The 26 overall selections marks the most for the Big Ten since 2005, when 27 players were drafted. Michigan and Purdue, who finished first and second, respectively, in the conference standings, led all conference schools with five draft choices each this year.
Seventeen members of the 2008 All-Big Ten baseball teams were selected in this year's draft, including nine members of the first team in Illinois' Hudson, Indiana's Andrew Means, Michigan's Nate Recknagel, Christian and Putnam, Minnesota's Nate Hanson and Matt Nohelty, Penn State's O'Neil and Purdue's Matt Bischoff.
Also drafted were the Big Ten's Player and Pitcher of the Year in Recknagel and Putnam, respectively, and the conference tournament's Most Outstanding Player, Michigan's Michael Powers.
In addition, MLB clubs took two Big Ten players who have been named All-Conference at multiple positions, as Putnam was named a first-team honoree as a starting pitcher and designated hitter in 2007 and 2008, while Shuck was a third-team selection as an outfielder and a hurler this season. Major League teams also drafted a trio of two-sport athletes as Hudson, Means and Minnesota's Eric Decker both play on their respective schools' football squads.
The complete list of 2008 Big Ten draftees can be found below.