DURHAM, N.C. – Duke baseball first baseman Justin Bellinger was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round (No. 647 overall) of the 2017 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft Wednesday.
Bellinger is the first Blue Devil first baseman taken in the MLB Draft since the San Diego Padres selected Nate Freiman in the eighth round of 2009 draft. The 6-6 Weston, Mass., native is also the first Blue Devil chosen in the 2017 draft as well as the 12th Duke player drafted under head coach Chris Pollard.
In three years with the Blue Devils, Bellinger has posted a .259 batting average with 10 home runs, 22 doubles, three triples, 67 RBI and 53 runs scored. As a sophomore in 2016, he led the team in both batting average (.336) and slugging percentage (.571) while totaling seven home runs, 10 doubles and 32 RBI.
Bellinger suffered a hand injury the second weekend of 2017 ACC play and finished the year with a .193 batting average, two home runs, six doubles and 13 RBI.
A talented defensive first baseman, Bellinger owns a .991 fielding percentage for his career. He did not commit an error in 206 fielding chances this past season.