K-State bids farewell to five stellar ballplayers


    K-State saw five starters taken in the 2009 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft this past week in Secaucus, N.J. The first round began on Tuesday evening and the draft ran through 50 total rounds concluding Thursday with 1,521 players drafted from high schools and colleges.
    Junior A.J. Morris was the first pick out of the fourth round (No. 112 overall) Wednesday morning by the Washington Nationals. Morris was the earliest drafted Wildcat since the 1972 draft when K-State pitcher Bob Lesslie was taken as the first overall pick. Morris is also the first Wildcat to go to the Nationals.
    Justin Bloxom, also a junior, soon followed suit as he was picked first in round 11 (No. 322 overall) also by the Nationals. Bloxom started at first base for the Wildcats for the last two seasons but was drafted as a left fielder.
    Senior Drew Biery was selected by the San Francisco Giants as the sixth pick of round 22 (No. 657 overall). Biery was drafted as a third baseman by the Giants after a career at shortstop for the Wildcats. Biery will be the fifth Wildcat to join them since 1969.
    Rob Vaughn, a senior, was pick No. 22 of round 30 and was snagged by the Chicago White Sox. Vaughn started as catcher in each of the last three seasons for the Wildcats and is the third from K-State to be a member of the White Sox organization.
    Senior Lance Hoge was the final K-State pick at No. 23 in round 36 of this year’s draft (No. 1094 overall) by the New York Mets. Being the first Wildcat to join the Mets since 1978, Hoge is the first ever K-State pitcher to win an NCAA tournament game this year against Xavier at the Houston Regional.
    With five picks this year in the 2009 draft, K-State has seen 11 talented ball players go professional in the last two years, with a total of 18 since Coach Brad Hill took the helm prior to the 2004 season.