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2 from UH baseball selected in MLB Draft

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Two players from University of Hawaii baseball were selected in 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.

Outgoing seniors Casey Ryan and Josh Rojas picked up selections to continue their careers at the next level, while a previous player earned another shot at an MLB career.

Ryan was the first Rainbow Warrior to come off the board in the draft, going to the Chicago Cubs with the 30th pick in the 18th round (555th overall). The Westlake Village, Calif. graduate finished the season with a 3-0 record, two saves and a team-leading 1.52 ERA in his late relief role for the ‘Bows pitching staff.

Ryan struck out 21 batters in a team-high 18 appearances, limiting the opposition to just .188 hitting to collect all-Big West honorable mention accolades.

Ryan was the first UH player drafted since the 2015 season and the highest Rainbow Warrior selection since pitcher Tyler Brashears was chosen by Tampa Bay in the 14th round during the 2015 Draft.

Rosas, a Litchfield Park, Ariz. graduate third baseman, was selected by the Houston Astros with the 16th pick in the 26th round (781st overall). An all-Big West second team selection, Rojas proved phenomenal on defense after the offseason switch from second to third base.

He also hit .294 and tied for fifth in the conference with 15 doubles, tying for a team-best five home runs and six triples — a UH mark not attained since 1997. He also added 36 runs and 25 RBIs.

It was also learned during the draft that 2016 undrafted senior Kyle Von Ruden will get an opportunity in the MLB. The second-year pitcher for the Windy City Thunderbolts earned a chance to sign with the Chicago White Sox. He was 1-2 with a 1.94 ERA in five starts this season for the T-Bolts.

Among the incoming signing class, Anchorage, Alaska high schooler Jonny Homza was selected in the fifth round by the San Diego Padres (138th overall).


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