ELMHURST, Ill. -- A total of five Summit League baseball student-athletes were selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) Amateur Draft conducted June 12-14.
Oral Roberts had four players drafted, while South Dakota State had one.
|Matt Whatley||Oral Roberts||C||3rd||104||Texas Rangers|
|Dylan Snypes||Oral Roberts||SS||15th||457||New York Mets|
|Bryce Howe||Oral Roberts||RP||18th||539||Miami Marlins|
|Luke Ringhofer||South Dakota State||C||22nd||668||Baltimore Orioles|
|Josh McMinn||Oral Roberts||SP||36th||1066||Minnesota Twins|
Whatley, a junior from Claremore, Oklahoma, became the highest draft pick for the Golden Eagles since Alex Gonzalez was taken by the Rangers in the first round of the 2013 draft. Regarded as one of the top backstops in collegiate baseball, he is one of three finalists for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award and thrown out 43 percent of opponents attempting to steal a base. The three-time All-Summit League honoree was the 10th catcher selected this year and the fourth player chosen by the Rangers in the 2017 draft. Whatley made 165 appearances for the Golden Eagles during his three seasons and ranks sixth in program history drawing 115 walks. He posted a .340 batting average totaling 67 extra-base hits, 143 runs and 134 RBI.
Snypes was the 457th pick of the draft in the 15th round by the New York Mets. A product of State Line, Mississippi, he earned Summit League Newcomer of the Year and All-Summit League First Team accolades in his first season with the Golden Eagles. The junior led the conference with 19 doubles, while his .335 batting average topped the team.
Howe, a native of Claremore, Oklahoma, was selected in the 18th round as the Miami Marlins made him the 539th pick of the draft. The hard-throwing, right hander was an effective reliever from the ORU bullpen making 25 appearances on the season with a team-best 11.53 strikeouts per nine innings.
McMinn was taken with the 1,066th pick going to the Minnesota Twins in the 36th round after ranking 30th in the NCAA this season with nine victories on the mound. The sophomore right-handed pitcher from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was an All-Summit League First Team honoree in 2017 after posting a 9-3 record as a weekend starter for the Golden Eagles.
A native of Cottage Grove, Minn., Ringhofer has been a mainstay in the Jackrabbit lineup in each of his three seasons at SDSU. He has been a two-time all-Summit League performer, earning first-team honors as a designated hitter as a freshman and second-team recognition as a catcher as a sophomore. Ringhofer also was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2015. In 154 career games with the Jackrabbits, Ringhofer has batted .323 with 31 doubles, seven home runs and 95 runs batted in. He ranks third on the SDSU all-time charts with 114 bases on balls while compiling a career .447 on-base percentage. His 753 career putouts rank 10th in program history.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.