3 Vols and 4 Vol Signees Selected in MLB Draft

Rich Schultz

Congratulations to the three current Vols and four Vol signees drafted in this year's 2014 MLB Draft.

Three current Tennessee Volunteers and four signees from the 2014 recruiting class were selected in this year's MLB Draft.  The Vols have had 124 former players drafted a total of 136 times since 1965. Tennessee has had a player drafted in 31 straight drafts now.

SENIORS

Nick Williams was drafted in the 26th round by the Miami Marlins.  He was the 767th pick.  He spent four years on Rocky Top pitching in 78 games, 33 of those starts.  He threw 256.1 innings with an ERA of 4.39 (3.22 his senior season).  He won 12 games and had 7 saves in his UT career.

Taylor Smart
was chosen 4 spots later, in the 771st position by the Seattle Mariners. Taylor Smart spent two years in Knoxville after a two year stint at Western Nevada College. He played in 102 total games for the Vols, starting 98 of those.  He finishes his Tennessee career with 100 hits, 6 home runs, 48 RBI, and a .280 batting average.  He was named the team's best defensive player in 2014.

JUNIORS

Will Maddox was chosen in the 18th round by the Detroit Tigers, the 550th pick overall.  He has spent three years in Knoxville, playing in 160 games, 157 of those he started.  He has 60 stolen bases, 60 RBI, and 5 home runs over his career.  His batting average is .309. He has started games at first, second, third, and the outfield.  He has not announced whether he will return next season.

SIGNEES

Lane Thomas was drafted in the 5th round by the Toronto Blue Jays, 144th overall.  He is an outfielder who signed with the Vols out of Bearden High School in Knoxville, TN.  He was the number 2 prospect in the state.  He was planning on attending UT unless the team that drafted him offered him a good amount, which the Blue Jays did, paying more than the $343,000 recommended slot value. He's already on his way to their mandatory physical.  Can't blame him at all for taking the money and his shot at professional ball.  Hopefully he has a solid career.

Kevin Steen was drafted in the 9th round, 284th overall, by the Boston Red Sox.  He is a right handed pitcher from Oak Ridge High school and the number 3 prospect in the state.  He has not decided whether he will attend UT or go professional yet.  I would not be surprised to see him go as well.  The recommended slot value for him is $142,600.

Steven Kane was drafted in the 34th round, pick 1009 by the Chicago Cubs.  This is the second draft in a row he has been drafted (he was a 28th round selection of the Cleveland Indians in 2013).  If he does not sign, he will be a junior this fall.  He comes from Cypress College in California where he has pitched for two season.  In his two seasons at Cypress, he is 17-2.

Benny Santiago was drafted in the 38th round, 1138 pick, by the San Francisco Giants.  He is the son of former major league catcher Benito Santiago.  He is also a catcher, and was the Vol's highest rated signee of last fall's early signing period according to Perfect Game.

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