Kansas State baseball heard three familiar names called in the 2022 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, starring K-State home run king Dylan Phillips. After being passed up in seven rounds, the Los Angeles Angels selected the All-American with the 238th overall pick in the eighth round.
The pick came after a strong season as a utility player, proving his worth in the outfield, at first base and on the mound after being overlooked in the 2021 MLB Draft.
While Phillips’ batting average ended at .283 this season, the senior from Omaha, Nebraska shattered Scott Poepard’s 1997 K-State record of 37 career home runs with 44. Along with his 13 long-balls this season, he collected 13 doubles, 44 RBIs and eight steals.
The lefty also improved his pitching, quickly becoming K-State’s closer towards the back-half of the 2022 campaign. The six-foot, 220-pounder lowered his 2021 earned-run-average of 14.14 to an efficient 2.66, striking out 26 batters in 20.1 innings pitched to accompany eight saves.
The remaining two Wildcats were selected in back-to-back fashion with the Colorado Rockies selecting Blake Adams in the 13th round with the 386th overall pick. Moments later, the Detroit Tigers jumped on Dom Johnson with the 387th pick of the 13th round.
Blake Adams was commonly referred to as the Wildcat’s Friday night starting pitcher. However, K-State head coach Pete Hughes used the Arkansas-transfer as a closer and mid-game reliever at times.
The right-handed pitcher tallied 90 strike outs in 87 innings pitched, finishing with a 5.07 ERA and 6-6 win-loss record. One of those wins came off a seven-inning outing against Texas, where he earned the victory on six strike outs, three hits and one earned run allowed.
Dom Johnson may have been the steal of the draft following a Big 12 Honorable Mention title and raking a .345 batting average this season. The high average highlights his team-leading 78 hits, 20 doubles and 12 stolen bases, while ranking second in home runs (12) and third in RBIs (42).
The Oklahoma State-transfer didn’t waste his time putting his mark on the college baseball map, starting the season strong with a four-game hitting streak. After a goose-egg in the third game against CSU Bakersfield, the sophomore outfielder smashed hits in 16 consecutive games, including nine multi-hit performances.
The three MLB Draft selections add to an impressive player-development stat for head coach Pete Hughes. He totals 82 selections in 25 seasons, with eight of those selections during his four seasons in Manhattan. Phillips’ selection marks K-State’s fourth pick in the first 10 rounds of the past four seasons.