It took a while, but the Southern Conference finally had its first player selected Tuesday afternoon in the Major League Baseball draft.
Pitcher Matt Murray of Georgia Southern was the first player taken in the draft. The righthander was chosen in the tenth round with the 306th pick by the Kansas City Royals. Catcher Robert Kral of College of Charleston was the next player chosen. He was taken by the San Diego Padres with the 328th pick in the tenth round. Overall, the SoCon had 16 players selected on Tuesday, 15 of which were pitchers. Elon and Samford each had three players selected; Western Carolina, Davidson, and Georgia Southern each had two players chosen; Wofford College, UNC-Greensboro, College of Charleston and The Citadel each had one player taken in the draft.
Murray, primarily a relief pitcher for the Eagles, did start two games in 2011. He was 4-3 with a 2.39 earned-run-average with nine saves. He also had 72 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings. Teammate Andrew Moye, who was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th round with the 461st pick, was 7-2 with a 2.39 ERA.
Kral paced the Cougars with a .319 batting average with 11 home runs, 48 RBI and a .563 slugging percentage. John Hinson of Clemson, who played at A.C. Reynolds High School, was taken by the Houston Astros in the 13th round. He was also the 400th player taken in the draft. Hinson batted .331 with nine home runs, 41 RBI and a 514 slugging percentage with 23 stolen bases.
There were also three high school pitchers of regional interest taken in the draft on Tuesday. Lefthander Carlos Rodon of Class 4A state champion Holly Springs was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round. Rodon, who was 11-0 his senior year, was named the Most Valuable Player in the Class 4A state championship series. He fired a two-hit shutout against T.C. Roberson in game one of the championship series.
Righthander Jordan Ramsey of North Davidson was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the 28th round and righthander Brandon Culbreth of Forsyth Country Day went to Houston in the eighth round. Appalachian State did not have a player selected on Tuesday. The draft wraps up on Wednesday with rounds 31-50. Coverage begins at 12 noon.
RHP THOMAS GIRDWOOD, OAKLAND, 28TH ROUND (856TH PICK)
RHP KENNETH FERRER, WASHINGTO0 ,28TH ROUND (847TH PICK)
RHP JOHN BREBBIO, NEW YORK YANKEES, 30TH ROUND (929TH PICK)
RHP GRANT SIDES, CLEVELAND, 12TH ROUND (368TH PICK)
RHP ANDREW JONES, BOSTON, 18TH ROUND (562ND PICK)
RHP JOSH MARTIN, PITTSBURGH, 25TH ROUND (752ND PICK)
LHP CHRIS LAMB, OAKLAND, 11TH ROUND (346TH PICK)
RHP ANDY BASS, TAMPA BAY, 18TH ROUND (570TH PICK)
RHP MATT MURRAY, KANSAS CITY, 10TH ROUND (306TH PICK)
RHP ANDREW MOYE, MILWAUKEE, 15TH ROUND (461ST PICK)
RHP KYLE DEESE, ST. LOUIS, 23RD ROUND (710TH PICK)
RHP MATT BENEDICT, PITTSBURGH, 30TH ROUND (929TH PICK)
RHP FRANCIS CORNELY, ATLANTA, 15TH ROUND (476TH PICK)
RHP JARRETT MILLER, ATLANTA, 21ST ROUND (656TH PICK)
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON:
C ROBERT KRAL, SAN DIEGO, 10TH ROUND (323RD PICK)
LHP MATTHEW TALLEY, ATLANTA, 28TH ROUND (866TH PICK)