Hunter Owen & Four Other Vanderbilt Players Selected In MLB Draft

Hunter Owen. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

As the MLB Draft continues, five more Vandy Boys were selected in the second round on Monday, July 10.

Vanderbilt’s five draftees in Rounds 3-10 were most in the SEC. The day started with left-handed pitcher Hunter Owen going to the Kansas City Royals in the third round.

Owen tallied 12 starts on the mound for the Dores and led the staff with 76 strikeouts. Owen finished the season with a 4-0 record and a 3.52 ERA. He walked just 17 batters and held opposing hitters to a .219 average.

The southpaw turned in three quality starts on the season including a seven-inning outing at Alabama where he totaled nine strikeouts and gave up just one earned on two hits. He was named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week on March 20 after tossing a 96-pitch, two-hit, complete-game shutout vs. No. 3 Ole Miss with a career-high 11 strikeouts. Owen retired the final 23 batters he faced in win.

Patrick Reilly, a right-handed pitcher, was next to be chosen as the Pittsburgh Pirates took him in the fifth round.

The junior from Sea Girt, New Jersey, has 187 strikeouts over 144 innings in three seasons for Vanderbilt, averaging 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Reilly increased his K/9 to 12.1 in 2023 with 65 strikeouts, third most on the team, over 48.1 innings pitched.

Reilly made 16 appearances in 2023, including four starts. He went 5-4 with a 5.77 ERA.

Right-handed pitcher Nick Maldonado was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the eighth round.

The senior from Short Hills, New Jersey, made 67 appearances for Vanderbilt over the past four seasons, totaling 17 saves, fifth most in program history. Maldonado’s 2.62 ERA ranks tied for fifth best by a Commodore.

Maldonado posted a career-best 1.45 ERA in 2023. He tallied eight saves with 40 strikeouts while only walking seven. Maldonado held opposing hitters to a .135 average and tossed the final inning of Vandy’s combined no-hitter at Minnesota on March 5.

The righty earned All-America honors as a senior from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and was named All-SEC.

A pair of Commodores were selected in the ninth round to bring Vandy’s total to five for the day. Thomas Schultz was drafted by the Washington Nationals and RJ Schreck was picked by the Seattle Mariners.

Schultz posted a career 3.38 ERA over 62 appearances and 125.1 innings as a Commodore. Schultz recorded 10 career saves with eight of those coming as a junior in 2022. The righty closed out his 2023 campaign with 9.2 scoreless innings, including 4.0 shutout frames against Alabama in Vandy’s win at the SEC Tournament.

Schreck played one season at Vanderbilt after a four-year career at Duke. He hit .306 with a team-high 14 home runs and 59 RBIs, also most by a Dore. Schreck also led Vanderbilt in slugging (.588) and on-base percentage (.454).

Vanderbilt has six players chosen in this year’s draft so far. Enrique Bradfield Jr. was selected 17th overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round on Sunday night.

The 2023 MLB First-Year Player Draft draft wraps up Tuesday with Rounds 11-20.

Steven Boero