Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Whittier College third baseman Julian Barzilli was selected in the 31st round (No. 945 overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday. Barzilli becomes the 7th Poet drafted in program history since 1965 and is the highest selection since Tony Woods who was chosen by the Chicago Cubs as the 17th overall pick as a shortstop in the 1st Round of the 1982 draft.
Other draft selections in the program's history include:
Thomas Phelps (Baltimore Orioles – 38th Round/2008)
Thomas Vessella (Houston Astros – 11th Round/2006)
Nolan Ramirez (Oakland Athletics – 15th Round/1974)
John St. George (St. Louis Cardinals – 40th Round/1969)
Steven Walters (Minnesota Twins – 3rd Round/1966)
"Julian was the most prolific power hitter in Division III in 2014!" Whittier Head Coach Mike Rizzo said. "His 17 home runs led the nation and he is a plus defender at third base. He is a tremendous leader and I'm excited for him as he begins his professional career with the St. Louis Cardinals organization!"
The Sacramento State transfer was a main stay at the corner infield position serving as the team's clean-up batter. Barzilli led all of the NCAA Division III in Home Runs with 17 and led the Purple & Gold to their first ever appearance in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament.
For the second straight season Barzilli led the offensive unit and put together impressive numbers over his two years with the Poets. In his tenure he played in 79 games collecting 100 hits in 289 at bats for a career .346 batting average. He tallied 23 doubles, 7 triples, and 25 homeruns to go with 83 runs batted in and 75 runs scored. He was walked 39 times with 11 of them being intentional and had an on base percentage of .430 and a slugging percentage of .734.
Defensively he finished with a .943 fielding percentage with 175 assists and 73 putouts, while starting 17 double plays.
This season, Barzilli collected the accolades being named the ABCA/Rawlings Division III West Region Player of the Year, an ABCA/Rawlings 1st Team All-American, a d3baseball.com 1st Team All-West Regional Selection, and was named 1st Team All-SCIAC.
Along with Barzilli, Division III had a strong presence in the 2014 draft. Other SCIAC players selected were Cal Lutheran LHP/OF Jake Petersen, 33rd Round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and University of La Verne's C, Joe Winterburn, 40th Round by the Boston Red Sox. Pacific Lutheran LHP Tyler Lubking was the highest Division III player drafted, being picked up in the 14th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.