Pair of Local Golden Eagles Taken in Top 10 Rounds of MLB First-Year Player Draft
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss had a pair of juniors from Hattiesburg taken in the second day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, as Taylor Braley and Kirk McCarty got their names called.
Braley earned selection in the sixth round (179th overall pick) by the Miami Marlins and becomes the first Golden Eagle to get drafted by this organization since they took right-handed pitcher Collin Cargill (22nd round) in 2011, while McCarty was tabbed in the seventh round by the Cleveland Indians (222nd pick). McCarty became the first Golden Eagle taken by the Indians since 2002, when Shea Douglas got chosen in the 32nd round. The two left-handed hurlers are the last Southern Miss players to register at least 100 strikeouts in a Golden Eagle season.
Braley, who earned the utility spot on the Baseball America All-America second team last week as well as being named a first-team All-Conference USA selection this spring, recorded a .313 batting average with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 61 runs batted in, to go along with a single-season school record 63 walks. He posted a .461 on base percentage and a .587 slugging percentage for the season.
On the mound, he appeared in 14 games and started 13 to post a 7-2 record to go along with a 3.40 earned run average. He fanned 78 over 82 innings of work and allowed just 22 walks. The Marlins selected him as a right-handed pitcher.
McCarty posted a 10-2 record in 17 starts for the Golden Eagles with 103 strikeouts and only 22 walks in 99 2/3 innings of work with a 3.52 ERA. He has registered a 22-4 career record and his win total ranks tied for fifth on the school career charts. In 33 starts over his last two seasons, the Golden Eagles posted a 29-4 record in games in which he started.
The left-handed pitcher was a first-team All-Conference USA selection in 2017 and also earned CoSIDA second-team Academic All-America honors and was a league All-Academic team selection for the second consecutive season.
Both players grew up locally and were teammates at Oak Grove High School, in which they captured the 6A state baseball championship in 2012 and 2014.
With two Top 10 round selections, it marked the first time since Jarrett Hoffpauir (6th) and Matt Shepherd (8th) were both chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 that the program has seen that happen.
The final day of the draft takes place on Wednesday with rounds 11-40 and starts at 11 a.m., CT. The draft can be followed at MLB.com.