Four Herd baseball players picked in MLB draft


HUNTINGTON – Marshall junior outfielder Corey Bird was selected with the 203rd pick in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Miami Marlins on Friday afternoon.

A native of Elkview, W.Va., Bird becomes the third highest draft selection in school history, and the first draft pick for the Thundering Herd since Aaron Blair and Isaac Ballou in 2013. Bird joins Blair (2013, first round, 36th overall), Joe Goddard (1971, eighth round, 175th overall) and Jeff Montgomery (1983, ninth round, 212th overall) as the fourth Herd play to be drafted in the first 10 rounds.

“I’m very thankful for all the opportunities that Marshall University and Coach Waggoner have given me,” Bird said. “I want to thank God and give all the credit to him. I also want to thank Coach Waggoner for not passing up on me and giving me an opportunity of a lifetime to compete at the Division I level and play in such a competitive conference. None of this would be possible without all of my teammates for having my back. I’m very thankful for all of them and I’m so proud of how great of a season we had this year.”

Bird is the 19th draft selection under Head Coach Jeff Waggoner since taking over the Herd program in the 2007 season.

“Congratulations to Corey for being selected in the draft,” Waggoner said. “I’m very excited for him. He has a great opportunity either way, whether he decides to sign with the Marlins or chooses to come back to Marshall for his senior year.”

In three seasons with the Herd, Bird has put together an impressive career in which he ranks in the top 10 of two statistical categories. His 59 career stolen bases and 183 hits rank tied for fourth and 10th in Marshall history, respectively. Bird holds a .300 career batting average with 20 extra base hits and 57 RBIs.

A second team All-Conference USA selection this past season, Bird played in all 55 games and owned a .300 batting average, with 69 hits, 44 runs scored and 22 RBIs. The speedy outfielder was a terror on the basepaths with a C-USA high 34 stolen bases, third most in a single season at Marshall. Bird held a 1.000 fielding percentage with 168 putouts.

Bird was named to the C-USA All-Tournament team after batting .421 (8-for-19) with two RBIs in four games. He had one stolen base and 13 putouts.

Underclassmen who are selected have until July 15 to sign a professional contract, or decide to return to school.

The 2016 Draft continued Saturday with rounds 11-40.

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Warner, Hammer,

Danciu also drafted

HUNTINGTON — Marshall pitchers Burris Warner, JD Hammer and Parker Danciu were selected on the final day of the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft Saturday afternoon.

Warner was taken with the 655th overall pick in the 22nd round by the Detroit Tigers, while Hammer was chosen by the Colorado Rockies with the 710th overall pick in the 24th round. Danciu was selected by the Atlanta Braves with the 1159th overall pick in the 39th round.

With Corey Bird drafted on Friday by the Miami Marlins, Marshall’s four players drafted is the second-most in school history for a single draft. The Herd had eight players chosen in the 2011 MLB Draft.

Warner, an Auburndale, Fla., native made an immediate impact for the Thundering Herd in his first season with the team. The junior made 26 relief appearances with a team-high 11 saves, most since Austin Coan’s Herd-record 12 in 2010. The right hander had a 3-1 record through 43 innings pitched with a 1.88 ERA. Warner struck out 34 batters and had a season high five strikeouts at Middle Tennessee.

Hammer has been a weekend starter for Marshall since he joined the team as a junior in 2015. The Fort Collins, Colo., product started 23 games in 29 appearances during his career. Hammer held a career 6-8 record with a 4.31 ERA and 112 strikeouts. As a senior, Hammer had a 4-2 record through 66.1 innings pitched with 56 strikeouts. Hammer shined in Conference USA action with a 2-0 record, including wins over Louisiana Tech and WKU.

Danciu was one of two pitchers for the Thundering Herd to start over 15 games this season. The Palm Beach, Fla., native finished his junior campaign with a 5-4 record and a 5.74 ERA through 84.2 innings pitched. The left hander tossed 43 strikeouts, including a season-high six at FIU. Danciu’s best outing of the season came at WKU with eight innings pitched and no earned runs.

Marshall’s signee Sidney Duprey was drafted in the 35th round by the San Francisco Giants. Duprey signed with the Thundering Herd from Kaskaskia College in Illinois in the fall of 2015.

Underclassmen who are selected have until July 15 to sign a professional contract, or decide to return to school.

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Marshall Baseball Camp

HUNTINGTON – The Marshall baseball coaching staff will be teaming up with Cleveland Indians hitting coordinator Jim Rickon to offer a special opportunity for individual hitting, pitching and defense instruction at the Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio on July 11-12.

The camp will consist of a 3 1/2 hour session each day, which includes individual hitting and pitching analysis from Rickon, Conference USA Coach of the Year Jeff Waggoner and the Thundering Herd coaching staff. In addition, the camp will also have a strength program designed to increase the camper’s knowledge on strength & conditioning and nutrition. It will also discuss with campers the importance of academics.

Each day will be run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first session held will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for grades three through eight, while the second session is 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. for grades nine through 12. Pitching will be held on July 11 and hitting will be held on July 12. The cost of each day is $150, but if you’d like to attend both camps the cost is $250.

The Thundering Herd is coming off its best season in program history with 34 wins. The Herd was in the top 5 of 17 different offensive categories in Conference USA play this past season. Marshall was first in hits (315), RBI (189), home runs (36), doubles (69), total bases (504) and stolen bases (50).

Jim Rickon is currently the Hitting Coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. Now in his 18th year with the Indians, Jim has been a hitting coach at every level for the organization (A-AAA) working with many of the past and present stars of the Tribe.

Pitching will be led by Thundering Herd Assistant Coach Josh Newman, and former Major League pitcher with the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals.

For more information, visit the Marshall camp page on HerdZone.com.

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