(Portions of this story courtesy of Texas Lutheran University)
SEGUIN, Texas – Texas Lutheran junior right-hander Kyle Simmons was drafted Saturday in the 24th round of Major League Baseball's 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
The 6-foot-6 and 205-pound Simmons (Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado) was selected by the Washington Nationals with the 724th overall pick.
"This is a great opportunity for Kyle," said Greg Burnett, TLU's head baseball coach. "He's battled through some injuries throughout his career. Hopefully he has moved beyond them because he has all the physical attributes to succeed in professional baseball."
Simmons, 22, is the ninth Bulldog in school history to be taken in the MLB Draft. He is the first Bulldog drafted since shortstop Jacob Kaase, another junior, was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft.
He is the first SCAC student-athlete to be taken in the MLB Draft since Bruce Maxwell of Birmingham-Southern College was chosen in the second round and Ben Klimesh of Trinity University was taken in the 15th round of the 2012 draft. Maxwell was selected by the Oakland Athletics while Klimesh was selected by the Cincinnati Reds.
Simmons is the second SCAC student-athlete to be drafted by the Nationals. In 2009, Evan Bronson of Trinity was taken in the 29th round. Bronson got as high as AAA Syracuse, appearing in a game in 2011.
Simmons, with a fastball that can reach the low 90s, pitched three years for the Bulldogs. He appeared in games in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He took a medical redshirt season in 2013.
Simmons still has one year of eligibility remaining at TLU should he choose to use it. In his career, Simmons appeared in 11 total games for the Bulldogs. He has a career ERA of 7.36 with a record of 0-1.
In 2014, Simmons pitched in eight games and registered six strikeouts, three walks and four hits allowed. Opponents hit just .160 against him.
Simmons lettered as a member of TLU's runner-up squad in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs compiled an overall record of 27-17 and went 11-7 in their first season in the SCAC.
Of the nine TLU baseball players now drafted, Simmons is the second Bulldog pitcher to be taken. The Atlanta Braves drafted TLU right-hander Glen Germer in the 17th round of the 1980 draft.
|SCAC Major League Baseball Draft Picks (Since 1987)|
|Peter Austin||Millsaps||40th (#1202 overall)||Pittsburgh||1997|
|Matt Blanton||Hendrix||23rd (#695 overall)||St. Louis||2003|
|Jason Armstrong||Trinity (Texas)||25th (#747 overall)||Toronto||2004|
|Garner Wetzel||Millsaps||10th (#297 overall)||Colorado||2005|
|Garner Wetzel||Millsaps||18th (#543 overall)||San Diego||2006|
|Nick Vera||Trinity (Texas)||32nd (#981 overall)||St. Louis||2007|
|Evan Bronson||Trinity (Texas)||36th (#1,088 overall)||Milwaukee||2008|
|Evan Bronson||Trinity (Texas)||29th (#862 overall)||Washington||2009|
|Daniel Sarisky||Oglethorpe||40th (#1,211 overall)||Houston||2009|
|Drew Leachman||Birmingham-Southern||37th (#1,138 overall)||Minnesota||2011|
|Bruce Maxwell||Birmingham-Southern||2nd (#62 overall)||Oakland||2012|
|Ben Klimesh||Trinity (Texas)||15th (#472 overall)||Cincinnati||2012
|Kyle Simmons||Texas Lutheran||24th (#724 overall)||Washington||2014|