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Four Players Selected in MLB Draft

June 8, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Four Middle Tennessee players were picked in the Major League Baseball First-Year Amateur Player Draft on Monday and Tuesday, including two juniors and two seniors.

The four players selected in the MLB draft matches a record for the Blue Raiders, also set in 1990 and 2001.

On Monday during the first 18 rounds of selections, senior and Murfreesboro, Tenn., native John Williams went to the Minnesota Twins in the seventh round and the 211th pick overall. Williams is the third Blue Raider selected by the Twins organization in the last four years, including Josh Renick (2001) and Justin Sims (2002).

The lefthander was 8-4 with a 3.06 ERA this season for Middle Tennessee, striking out 109 in 100.0 innings. Williams finished his career second in school history in innings pitched (305.2) and strikeouts (294), and fourth in wins (23).

"A lot of our guys have been with the Twins and liked the organization," Williams said. "I don't think it really mattered (which organization drafted him). I just wanted to go."

Also on Monday junior third baseman Brett Carroll was selected in the 10th round with the 308th overall selection by the defending World Series champion Florida Marlins, the first Blue Raider ever picked by the Marlins.

Carroll belted 14 home runs this season, tying for the team lead, and led the Blue Raiders with 52 RBIs. The Knoxville, Tenn., native has career numbers of 39 home runs, 50 doubles and 133 RBIs, all ranking in the Top 8 in Blue Raider history. The Bearden High School product has the option of signing a professional contract or returning for his senior year.

"I've given this a lot of thought, and my family is involved," Carroll said. "I definitely want a degree. But I've talked to [head coach Steve Peterson], and he feels professional baseball is my next step. I'm ready to move on if that's what's going to happen.

"It will be a tough decision," he said. "I felt like we should have accomplished more this season, and a part of me wants to come back and make history."

On Tuesday a pair of Blue Raiders were selected just three picks apart.

Junior righhander Chris Mobley was taken by the Marlins in the 22nd round. The Kingsport, Tenn., native was 7-5 with a 3.95 ERA this season, striking out 122 in 95.2 innings of work. Waiting can be nerve-wrecking, but Mobley said the Marlins kept him in the loop Monday and Tuesday.

"The draft spot was a little bit lower than I expected, but [the Marlins] scout talked with me the whole time, so I knew what was going on the whole time."

Senior catches Troy Harp was selected three spots later by the Atlanta Braves, also in the 22nd round. Harp batted .277 with eight doubles, four home runs and 26 RBIs this season, starting 51 games. He also threw out 19 of 55 base runners attempting to steal, a very good 35 percent. The Louisville, Ky., native was excited after putting in all of the hard work over the years.

"They make you feel good when they call you," Harp said. "I'm fired up. It's what everybody plays for. They told me I'd go to Orlando, Fla. (Extended Spring Training) first and then probably end up in Gainesville, Va. (Appalachian League)."

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