Three More Stanford Players Taken On Second Day Of 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft
June 7, 2006
New York, N.Y. - Three more Stanford players were taken on the second and final day of the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday with the selections of senior pitcher Matt Manship (Oakland Athletics, 29th round, 878th overall), senior infielder Chris Lewis (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 32nd round, 972nd overall) and junior outfielder Jim Rapoport, St. Louis Cardinals, 35th round, 1066th overall).
The three selections on Wednesday bring the total of Stanford players taken in the 2006 MLB First-Year Player Draft to seven. Junior righthanded pitcher Greg Reynolds was selected second overall by the Colorado Rockies in Tuesday's first round to equal Steve Dunning (the second overall pick in 1970) as the highest Stanford selection ever. Reynolds also became the 18th Stanford player in the last 20 years of the draft to be taken either in the first round or as a Compensation A pick. Senior shortstop Chris Minaker (Seattle Mariners, 10th round, 291st overall), senior catcher John Hester (Arizona Diamondbacks, 13th round, 387th overall) and junior lefthanded pitcher Blake Holler (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 13th round, 402nd overall) were Stanford's other selections on the first day of the draft.
Matt Manship earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 and Second Team Pac-10 All-Academic honors as a senior in 2006. He currently has a 2-6 record and a 5.59 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 66.0 innings. Manship has made 12 of his 18 appearances as a starter but has come out of the pen in his last five outings and six of his past seven. He had 17 saves working primarily out of the bullpen in his first three seasons to rank second all-time at Stanford.
'It's nice to know that I can keep playing after this year,' said Manship. 'I think that's the most exciting part, to know that I'm not done with baseball, and I'm going to get another shot at the next level, which is a good feeling.'
Chris Lewis has had a breakout season in 2006, currently ranking second on the team with a career-high-tying eight homers and a career-high 48 RBI, while raising his batting average to a current season-high .311 that is 45 points above his previous top average in a season. Lewis has earned NCAA All-Regional, as well as honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic recognition. He has been red-hot in his last 20 games, hitting safely in 16 of them and posting a .410 batting average with five homers and 25 RBI during the span. Lewis has started all 58 games this season at either second (40) or third (18) base, as well as made 117 straight starts in a row to start every game in each of the last two seasons.
'It's great because it's something I've aspired to do my whole career,' said Lewis of his selection. 'It's kind of like icing on the cake. You worked so hard to achieve a goal, and it finally becomes a reality. It's not just a dream anymore. I'm just grateful I'm going to get that opportunity [to play pro baseball], and I'm going to make the most of it. I'm excited it's a team close to home and a team I rooted for in high school. It's a good feeling.'
Rapoport is hitting .249 with two homers, 30 RBI and three stolen bases, while starting 51 games and playing in all 58. He also leads the squad with 12 sacrifice bunts (#3T Pac-10) and is tied for third with 18 walks He had one of the team's most memorable moments of the season when he hit an inside-the-park grandslam in an 11-4 win over Arizona State on April 30.
'It's always exciting to go play professional baseball,' said Rapoport. 'The Cardinals are a great organization. I'm really excited and fortunate to have a chance to go play pro ball.'
STANFORD-OREGON STATE NCAA SUPER REGIONAL
Stanford (33-25) will travel to Pac-10 rival Oregon State (42-14) for one of eight NCAA Super Regionals across the country this Saturday-Monday, June 10-12, 2006. The teams will open the Super Regional on Saturday at 7 pm, PT with game times for Sunday and Monday scheduled at 7 pm, PT, and 4 pm, PT, respectively. The entire Corvallis Super Regional will be televised by either ESPN2 or ESPNU (check your local listings). KZSU 90.1 FM and gostanford.com will also carry a live audio broadcast of the action. All NCAA Super Regionals will be televised live on a family of ESPN Channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU).