Two Demon Deacons selected in MLB draft

Wake Forest baseball is officially on the board of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, as senior Pat Blair looks to join the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Blair, a shortstop from Baltimore, MD., was taken in the 12th round as the 368th overall pick.

8538066In 2012, Blair was drafted by the Houston Astros as the 729th pick in the 24th round, choosing instead to return to Wake for his senior year. Blair had a remarkably solid year at shortstop for the Deacs, hitting .283 for the season with 41 runs, 38 RBIs and 3 home runs. Hitting prowess aside, Blair also ranked second in the ACC for walks, getting on first 57 times this season. That distinction also saw Blair stand as the fourth highest with overall walks in the NCAA, and the second highest with base on balls per game, where he was only behind the second overall pick of the 2013 Draft, Kris Bryant.

Blair joins two incoming signees as the first Demon Deacons to be taken so far in the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft. Alex Murphy was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the 189th pick in the 6th round and Dylan Manwaring was taken by the Atlanta Braves with the 283rd pick in the 9th round, both coming on Day 2 of the Draft.

8540884The second Demon Deacon of the day to get drafted, senior left-handed pitcher Niko Spezial was selected as the 586th pick in the 19th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First Year Player Drafter. Spezial followed Wake Forest teammate Pat Blair on Day Three, and the pitcher will join the Washington Nationals. The pitcher from Waldwick, NJ., had a strong season for Wake, with a 6-1 record coming out of the bullpen and a 2.83 ERA through the year. Spezial will join former Demon Deacon Carlos Lopez, who was drafted in the 12th round last year, as he begins in the Nationals organization.