Thursday, June 07, 2018 1:10 am
One area baseball player drafted
West Noble graduate selected by Phillies
GREG JONES | The Journal Gazette
Area baseball players went 1-for-3 in the Major League Baseball draft Wednesday.
West Noble graduate Waylon Richardson, a pitcher at Kankakee Valley Community College, was drafted in the 40th round (No. 1,187 overall) by Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, Hayden Jones, a Carroll senior, and Colin Brockhouse, a Northrop graduate and Ball State senior, were not picked in rounds 11-40.
Richardson appeared in just three games this spring, returning to action 81/2 months after arm surgery.
But once the West Noble graduate's coaches saw he had completed his rehabilitation to the point where his fastball hit 94 mph, they realized his readiness for pro ball. In his first game back since the injury suffered in August during Coastal Plain League play, Richardson faced seven batters, striking out six.
“(My coaches) said I had the option to go to battle with the guys or to shut me down,” said Richardson, recalling an offseason conversation with his coaches. “I was working my tail off to get back and play. I got back and threw in those three games, but they said they thought it was in my best interest (to stop pitching). Looking into the future and being wise about the decision, it was the right choice.”
Richardson opened many scouts' eyes thanks to his 2017 campaign when he appeared in 27 games, the last coming in the final inning of Kankakee Junior College's national title-clinching win. He went 2-0 with nine saves and a 0.30 ERA in 30 innings, striking out 39 while walking eight. He limited opponents to a .159 batting average (17 for 107), prompting Tampa Bay to inquire whether he wanted to turn pro last season.
“I had an opportunity, but I told them I wasn't ready,” Richardson said. “I had about 12 teams contact me (this season), and I felt like from the beginning Philadelphia was the most upfront with me. It ended up the way I wanted.”
A catcher, Jones will head to Mississippi State. He said Wednesday that it would have taken being selected in the first five rounds for him to even consider playing professionally right away and forgoing his collegiate career with the Bulldogs.
“Going to a top baseball program is going to truly help me, and I know come next draft I will be eligible for (2021), I will be sure going high in the draft,” Jones said by phone.
“The biggest thing is staying on the same grind I have been on since I started playing and not trying to do too much and really taking everything in from the coaches down there and learning from their experience.”
As a senior, Jones led the Chargers to the Class 4A regional finals in Lafayette by hitting .494 with 31 RBI.
“It is a tough process,” Jones said of the draft. “You don't know what is going to happen, and you never know what is going to come and what to expect. You just have to keep working no matter what.”
Brockhouse had been drafted twice as a pitcher, in the 37th round in 2016 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and in 2017 in the 24th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. After not signing with the Blue Jays because of medical issues, he moved from pitcher to outfielder. Last season with Ball State, he hit .298 with 16 doubles and 11 home runs.
“It is very disappointing; I thought I would go for sure,” Brockhouse said by phone. “I thought someone would take a chance on me even though I switched positions. I put up some good power numbers, which is something the pros look for because power is hard to come by.”
Brockhouse is looking for some free agent options or he will look for a school to earn his doctorate degree in physical therapy.
“It's going to help me with the adversity I have dealt with and help me to move on,” Brockhouse said. “It's all life lessons.”
Also drafted with state ties were Purdue first baseman Jacson McGowan in the 11th round by the Tampa Bay Rays; Indiana State pitcher Ethan Larrison in the 16th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks; Valparaiso catcher Scott Kapers in the 17th round by the Texas Rangers; Ball State pitcher Evan Marquardt in the 20th round by the Cincinnati Reds; Wright State pitcher Caleb Sampen (Brownsburg) in the 20th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers; Indiana third baseman Luke Miller in the 22nd round by the Philadelphia Phillies; Notre Dame shortstop Cole Daily in the 22nd round by the Washington Nationals; Decatur Central pitcher Bradley Brehmer in the 23rd round by the Baltimore Orioles; Butler pitcher Connor Mitchell in the 27th round by the Dodgers; Indiana outfielder Logan Sowers in the 28th round by the Chicago White Sox; Indiana-Kokomo pitcher Renton Poole in the 28th round by the Rangers; Indiana pitcher Tim Herrin in the 29th round by the Cleveland Indians; Indianapolis Cathedral infielder Jared Poland in the 34th round by the Boston Red Sox; Southern Indiana catcher Logan Brown in the 35th round by the Atlanta Braves; Tulane utility player Kody Hoese (Griffith) in the 35th round by Kansas City Royals; Our Lady of Providence shortstop Timothy Borden in the 37th round by the Indians; and Kokomo pitcher Jack Perkins in the 40th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
– Freelance writer Josh Patterson contributed to this story.