Marilyn Payne

Eight players with NC ties taken in first day of MLB draft

Posted June 12
Updated June 13

East Carolina University commit MacKenzie Gore and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill commit Austin Beck were both selected in the first 10 picks of the 2017 MLB Draft Monday night.

Two UNC juniors, ace J.B. Bukauskas and shortstop Logan Warmoth, went in the first round as well.

The San Diego Padres selected Gore out of Whiteville High School with the third overall pick. The 6-foot-2 southpaw went undefeated in his season season, finishing with a 0.91 ERA. The approximate pick value on the 18-year-old is 6.7 million dollars.

The Oakland Athletics selected North Davidson High School's Beck sixth overall.

The Houston Astros selected Tar Heel ace Bukauskas 15th overall. The 6-foot RHP finished his junior season with a 2.53 ERA and a 9-1 record in 15 starts. Bukauskas struckout 116 batters in 92.2 innings pitched this season and was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year. The first-team All-American and Dick Howser Trophy finalist from Ashburn, Virginia, was 21-6 with a 3.18 ERA over three seasons at UNC and each of his 42 career starts came on the weekend. His 294 career punchouts are the fifth-most all-time at Carolina.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected North Carolina shortstop Warmoth 22nd overall. The 6-foot right-handed batter finished his junior season with the Tar Heels' second-best batting average (.336) and a three-year average above .300. A first-team All-America shortstop from Orlando, Warmoth was one of the country's top position players as a junior, posting career bests in hits, runs, doubles, triples, homers, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, walks and steals. He also emerged as one of the top defensive infielders nationally, posting a .970 fielding percentage.

Bukauskas and Warmoth are the first Tar Heels to go in the first round since Colin Moran was picked sixth overall in 2013. They form a Carolina first-round duo for the first time since Dustin Ackley (second overall) and Alex White (15th) in 2009. Andrew Miller (sixth overall) and Daniel Bard (28th) were also first-round classmates in 2006.

The Miami Marlins took North Carolina's Brian Miller with the 36th overall pick, the last pick of the competitive balance round in between the first and second rounds. Miller set the tone for the Tar Heels as the team's leadoff hitter and center fielder.

Wake Forest's Stuart Fairchild and Gavin Sheets were selected in the second round. The Cincinatti Reds took outfielder Fairchild 38th overall and the White Sox selected firstbaseman Sheets with the 49th pick of the draft.

Two picks later, the Miami Marlins took N.C. State shortstop Joe Dunnand. Dunand is the 93rd player to be chosen in the draft during Elliott Avent’s tenure as head coach at NC State. Dunnad finished the year with a .284 batting average highlighted by a career-best 18 home runs. The Miami native led the team with 51 RBIs and a .632 slugging percentage. He ended the year with 60 hits, 42 runs scored, 12 doubles and three triples.

Dunand is the highest NC State player drafted since Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner were selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

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