June 6, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A pair of Alabama players and one signee were taken on the final day of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The draft consisted of 50 rounds and 1,504 total picks.
Senior right-hander Josh Copeland and junior left-hander Miers Quigley were taken on the second day of the 2008 MLB Draft. Quigley was taken in the 36th round (1,086th pick) by the Minnesota Twins. Copeland was selected in the 47th round (1,420th pick) by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Copeland was 3-2 with four saves and a 3.12 ERA in a team-leading 28 appearances this season. He was 6-5 with eight saves and a 3.11 ERA in 80 career appearances. He logged 111 1/3 innings in three starts and 77 relief appearances. Copeland's 77 relief appearances are the most in school history, surpassing the previous record of 75 relief appearances held by Greg Hibbard in 1985-86. Copeland is also the third pitcher in school history to log 80 career appearances, behind Lance Cormier (87) and Brent Carter (81).
"I was really excited when I got the call," Copeland said. "They called me in the 30th round and said they wanted to take me and then 2 ½ hours later they called and told me they had taken me in the 47th round. I'm going to hear from them again (Saturday) and they want me to fly to Tempe (Ariz.) on Sunday to sign a contract and go over all the details. I am leaning towards signing right now."
Quigley posted a 5-4 record and 5.58 ERA in 16 games this season. He made 12 starts and fired a complete-game shutout at Jacksonville State on March 26. In his three-year career, Quigley is 10-15 with a 5.03 ERA in 39 games and 32 starts. He has logged 193 1.3 innings and recorded 161 strikeouts.
The duo joins junior catcher Alex Avila, who was taken on the fifth round by the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Avila hit .343 and led the team with 17 home runs and 62 RBI in 61 games this season. In his 188-game career, Avila batted .305 (203 for 656) with 36 home runs and 165 RBI. Avila joins Jeremy Brown (1999-2002) and Brent Boyd (1999-2002) as the only three players in school history with 200 career hits and 100 career walks.
Alabama also had a pair of signees taken in the first seven rounds of the 2008 MLB Draft. Right-hand pitcher Craig Kimbrel (Wallace State Community College) was taken in the third round (96th pick) by the Atlanta Braves. Another signee, signee Jade Todd, a 6-3 left-hander from Shades Valley High School, was taken in the seventh round (223rd) by the Detroit Tigers.
ALABAMA DRAFT NOTES:
*Alabama has had at least one player drafted in each of the last 30 years. The streak began in 1979. Since the draft was implemented by Major League Baseball in 1966, the Tide has had at least one player taken in 37 of the 44 drafts that have been held.
*The Crimson Tide has had 57 players selected in the MLB draft since Coach Jim Wells became head coach in 1995.
*Three former Alabama players were taken in the MLB draft on Friday, including Ben Soignier (Florida Marlins, 508th pick), Chris Kirkland (Seattle, 36th round) and Allen Ponder (Pittsburgh, 45th round).