Texas A&M junior shortstop Braden Shewmake was drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday, going to Atlanta with the 21st pick.
A&M junior left-handed pitcher John Doxakis was picked by Tampa Bay in the second round with the 61st pick. Doxakis was 7-4 with a 2.06 earned run average. He threw a team-high 104.2 innings with 115 strikeouts and only 26 walks. Opponents batted only .200.
The left-handed hitting Shewmake batted .313 this season, starting all 63 games for the 39-23-1 Aggies who lost to Duke in the Morgantown Regional finals of the NCAA tournament Sunday. He was the only A&M starter to hit over .300. He had six home runs and a team-best 47 runs batted in. He also had a team-best 14 doubles and four triples.
“I love this guy,” said former Oregon State head coach Pat Casey on the Major League Network, adding that he got to watch Shewmake play 7-8 games this season. “There’s something about his game that I just love.”
Casey said there’s a chance the lanky Shewmake could end up in center field, adding that A&M coach Rob Childress said that might be Shewmake’s best position.
“He doesn’t swing and miss very often, he makes contact,” Casey said. “This guy one at-bat he’ll hit it down the left-field line, then the next time at-bat he’ll hit it down the right-field line. He likes to get dirty, he likes to play, he loves the game. He’s going to play for a long time there’s something about his game that special.”
MLB.com’s analysis on Shewmake was that his “hand-eye coordination ranks with the best in this Draft. He’s got an unorthodox approach at the plate, but he still barrels the ball with ease. He can add some more strength to his 6-foot-4 frame and has the leverage to develop at least average power.”
Shewmake ends A&M’s six-year drought of no Aggies taken in the first round. Outfielder Tyler Naquin and pitcher Michael Wacha were taken in the 2012 draft with the 15th and 19th picks, respectively.
Cypress Ranch right-handed pitchers JJ Gross and Matthew Thompson, both Texas A&M signees who played in Bryan High’s district this season, also were drafted. Goss went 36th to Tampa Bay with a competitive balance pick between the first and second round. Thompson went to the Chicago White Sox in the second round with the No. 45 pick.
Houston St. Thomas pitcher Josh Wolf, another Texas A&M signee, was taken in the second round by the New York Mets with the 53rd pick.
Vanderbilt outfielder J.J. Bleday was the first Southeastern Conference player taken. He went fifth to Miami. Kentucky pitcher Zach Thompson went 19th to St. Louis.
TCU left-handed pitcher Nick Lodolo went eighth to Cincinnati followed by Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung going to Texas and Baylor catcher Shea Langeliers taken by Atlanta as the Braves stayed in the Lone Star state for their first two picks. Mississippi State senior pitcher Ethan Small was the last SEC player taken in the first round, going to Milwaukee with the 27th pick.
Missouri center fielder Kameron Misner and pitcher T.J. Sikkema went in the Competitive Balance Round A with Misner going to Seattle 35th, Sikkema 38th to the New York Yankees and Baylor third baseman Davis Wendzel 41st to the Texas Rangers.
SEC players taken in the second round through the 69th pick were Florida sophomore shortstop Brady McConnell (Kansas City, 44th), Georgia junior third baseman Aaron Schunk (Colorado, 92nd), LSU junior second baseman Josh Smith (Yankees, 67th) and Ole Miss junior shortstop Grae Kessinger (Houston Astros, 68th).
Colleyville Heritage shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who will play at the UIL state tournament Class 5A semifinals this week against Corsicana was taken second by Kansas City.