Mike Minor became the fourth Vanderbilt pitcher in six years to be drafted in the first round when the junior left-hander was selected seventh overall by the Atlanta Braves on Monday.
“I'm very pleased with the guy that we got,” Atlanta’s director of scouting, Roy Clark, said. “ … This guy is a winner. We've been tracking him for a long time. We were hoping for the opportunity to select him and now I'm just hoping for the opportunity to sign him.”
He followed Jeremy Sowers (sixth overall, 2004), David Price (first, 2007) and Casey Weathers (eighth, 2007). Three others – Jensen Lewis and Ryan Mullins in 2005 and Brett Jacobson in 2008 – went within the first five rounds during that same period.
Minor’s selection also made it three straight years the Commodores had a player taken in the first round.
“When all was said and done, I think he ended up about where he should have gone,” Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin said. “In recent weeks I saw some of the mock drafts and there were one or two that had him being picked after the first round. That made no sense to me.
“He’s a very polished pitcher, and I don’t think it will be long before he’s pitching in the Major Leagues.”
Vanderbilt’s top starting pitcher each of the past two seasons, Minor led the team with 110.2 innings pitched in 2009. He struck out a career-best 114 (also a team-high) and walked just 37.
He finished with a 6-6 record and was the losing pitcher in both of VU’s NCAA tournament defeats.
For his career, he had a 22-10 record with 303 strikeouts in 304 innings pitched. Price, Sowers and Mike Willis (1969-72) are the only other Vanderbilt pitchers ever to amass more than 300 strikeouts in their college careers.
“He’s just a quality performer,” Corbin said. “He was a very good pitcher when he stepped on campus and he just got better and better.”