A school-record-tying four Appalachian State University baseball players were selected during the 2013 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, which concluded on Saturday. The Philadelphia Phillies picked senior left-handed pitcher Rob Marcello (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach) in the 17th round (511th overall
selection), the New York Yankees tabbed both junior right-handed pitcher Sam Agnew-Wieland (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) in the 24th round (734th overall) and senior second baseman Hector Crespo (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) in the 34th round (1,034th overall) and the San Francisco Giants selected senior shortstop Will Callaway (Greenville, S.C./Eastside) in the 37th round (1,122nd overall) of the 40-round draft.
Appalachian State’s four MLB draftees tie the program record originally set in 2009 (Zach Quate, Rand Smith, Isaac Harrow and Josh Dowdy) and matched last year (Nathan Hyatt, Tyler Tewell, Seth Grant and Ryan Arrowood). Additionally, two members of Appalachian’s incoming freshman class also heard their names called on Saturday. The Seattle Mariners selected right-handed pitcher Zack Littell (Mebane, N.C./Eastern Alamance) in the 11th round (327th overall) and the New York Mets picked right-handed pitcher Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) in the 24th round (716th overall).
As seniors, Marcello, Crespo and Callaway are expected to sign contracts with their respective organizations in the near future and be assigned to minor-league teams. As a junior, Agnew-Wieland can choose to sign a contract with the Yankees by July 12 at 5 p.m. or return to Appalachian State for his senior season and be eligible to be drafted again in 2014. As high-school seniors, Littell and Brill can choose to sign contracts with the Mariners and Mets, respectively, or begin their collegiate careers this fall. If they choose to attend Appalachian, they will not be eligible to be drafted again until 2016 (following their junior seasons).
Marcello embraced many roles during his two seasons at Appalachian State. The left-hander was a member of the Mountaineers’ weekend rotation as a junior in 2012 and won six games to help lead Appalachian to its first Southern Conference championship in 25 years and the finals of the NCAA Charlottesville Regional. As a senior, he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen and recorded five saves with 28 strikeouts in 22.1 innings of work.
In his first season as a Mountaineer, Agnew-Wieland won seven games, limited opponents to a .255 batting average and struck out 71 in 85.2 innings. He became the first hurler in seven years to be named the SoCon’s Pitcher of the Week in back-to-back weeks when he tossed consecutive complete-game shutouts versus Wofford (March 30) and Georgia Southern (April 6). The back-to-back shutouts were part of a 19.2-inning scoreless streak during which the right-hander surrendered just eight hits (all singles, only three of which left the infield) and struck out 22.
A four-year starter, Crespo set Appalachian State records with 225 games played (all starts — 171 at second base and 54 at third base) and 101 stolen bases. He also ranks among Appalachian’s all-time leaders with 283 career hits (second in program history), 208 runs (second), 47 doubles (tied for seventh), nine triples (tied for sixth), 381 total bases (third), 124 walks (second) and 874 at-bats (second), while his 101 career steals also ranked sixth in SoCon history. In recognition of his efforts, Crespo earned freshman all-America accolades in 2010, was a second-team all-conference selection in 2012 and first-team honoree in 2013.
A two-time finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award (given to college baseball’s top shortstop), Callaway hit .323 over his three seasons at Appalachian State. He averaged 76 hits and 19 stolen bases a season over his final two campaigns and hit a team-best .344 as a senior in 2013. His terrific senior season included a school-record-tying 27-game hitting streak from April 2-May 23, during which he hit a gaudy .415 (49-for-118) with 15 multi-hit games, 27 RBI and 24 runs scored.