June 5, 2008
2nd Round: C. Blackmon Bio | C. Blackmon Photo Gallery
5th Round: D. Duncan Bio | D. Duncan Photo Gallery
14th Round: C. Hicks Bio | C. Hicks Photo Gallery
19th Round: J. Haniger Bio | J. Haniger Photo Gallery
33rd Round: L. Murton Bio | L. Murton Photo Gallery
34th Round: B. Rulon Bio | B. Rulon Photo Gallery
39th Round: E. Burns Bio | E. Burns Photo Gallery
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech right fielder Charlie Blackmon and starting pitcher David Duncan were selected on the first day of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Yellow Jacket relief pitcher Chris Hicks, catcher Jason Haniger, first baseman/outfielder Luke Murton, reliever Brad Rulon and starting pitcher Eddie Burns were selected on day two of the draft.
Blackmon was taken in the 2nd round by the Colorado Rockies as the 72nd overall pick in the draft. The redshirt junior concluded the 2008 season pacing the Yellow Jackets in batting average (.396), hits (99), runs (68), stolen bases (25) and on base percentage (.469). He had been drafted twice before, both times as a pitcher, and never higher than the 20th round.
Duncan was selected in the fifth round by the Houston Astros as the 152nd overall pick in the draft. The junior served as the Yellow Jackets’ Friday starter over the last two seasons and led Tech in strikeouts (74) and innings pitched (96.1) in 2008. He had been drafted twice before, but never higher than the 14th round.
The second day of selections began in the seventh round after six rounds were completed Thursday afternoon.
Hicks was the Yellow Jackets’ first player selected on day two of the draft, going in the 14th round as the 422nd overall pick to the Houston Astros. The junior reliever finished his third year at Georgia Tech with the fifth-best single season mark in school history with nine saves. He appeared in 27 games during the 2008 season, 17 of which were scoreless outings. Hicks had been drafted once before, in the 35th round following his senior year of high school.
Haniger joined Hicks as a day two draftee when he was taken with the second pick of the 19th round and 564th overall selection by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Yellow Jacket junior was Tech’s primary catcher in 2008, and finished the season leading the team with a .638 slugging percentage. He hit .329 with 10 home runs and 13 doubles in his first season as the Jackets’ primary backstop.
Murton became the Jackets’ fifth draftee of the 2008 season when he was selected in the 33rd round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. A designated hitter for most of the 2008 season, Murton put up career numbers in his junior season, batting .332 with 12 home runs, 25 doubles and 51 RBI for the Yellow Jackets. The Georgia Tech junior was selected in the 40th round of the 2007 draft.
Selected for the first time in the MLB Draft was Rulon, a senior that made 117 appearances on the mound for the Yellow Jackets over the last four years. The New York Yankees selected the Columbus, Ga. native in the 34th round after he finished the 2008 season with seven saves and concluded his career averaging 9.92 strikeouts per nine innings, ranking him eighth in the Tech career record books.
Burns, a right-handed weekend starter for the Yellow Jackets the last two seasons, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 39th round after being selected by the Atlanta Braves a year ago.
Overall, the Yellow Jackets have had four pitchers – two starters and two relievers – one catcher and two outfielders selected in the 2008 MLB Draft.
A total of 72 former Yellow Jackets have signed professional baseball contracts during head coach Danny Hall’s 15-year tenure at Georgia Tech, 14 of which have reached the Major Leagues since 1996.
Check back to Ramblinwreck.com for more updates on Yellow Jacket draftees.
Georgia Tech Players in the 2008 MLB DraftPlayer Class Pos. Round/Pick TeamCharlie Blackmon Jr.-R OF 2nd/72nd RockiesDavid Duncan Jr. LHP 5th/15nd AstrosChris Hicks Jr. RHP 14th/422nd AstrosJason Haniger Jr. C 19th/564th PiratesLuke Murton Jr. 1B/OF 33rd/1008th DiamondbacksBrad Rulon Sr. RHP 34th/1040th YankeesEddie Burns Jr-R. RHP 39th/1191st Indians
Georgia Tech Signees in the 2008 MLB Draft Player Pos. Round/Pick Team Mark Pope RHP 17th/520th Braves Brandon Miller C 33rd/1012th Red Sox