DURHAM, N.C. – Nearly 40 Major League Baseball scouts were on hand to evaluate the Blue Devils at the Duke baseball team’s annual Scout Day Tuesday, Oct. 10 at Jack Coombs Field.
The afternoon began with batting practice, followed by a round of infield/outfield and culminated with a 6.5 inning scrimmage.
Duke has produced 66 players selected in the MLB Draft including three this past season in Justin Bellinger (22nd round, No. 647 overall, Cincinnati Reds), James Ziemba (22nd round, No. 655 overall, Los Angeles Angles) and Jimmy Herron (31st round, No. 932 overall, New York Yankees).
Herron is one of seven current Blue Devils who have already heard their name called on draft day. Junior Griffin Conine (2015, 31st round, No. 926 overall, Miami Marlins), freshman Wil Hoyle (2017, 38th round, No. 1131 overall, Oakland Athletics), sophomore Adam Laskey (2016, 31st round, No. 935 overall, San Francisco Giants), freshman Steve Mann (2017, 38th round, No. 1145 overall, Detroit Tigers), senior Chris McGrath (2014, 35th round, No. 1041 overall, Seattle Mariners) and sophomore Matt Mervis (2016, 39th round, No. 1174 overall, Washington Nationals) were all drafted coming out of high school.
The Blue Devils have had 36 players drafted over the past 17 years, including 13 during head coach Chris Pollard’s tenure.
Eleven former Blue Devils are currently in professional baseball: 1B Bellinger (AZL Reds), 3B Jordan Betts (Salem Red Sox), RHP Bailey Clark (South Bend Cubs), RHP Andrew Istler (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes), RHP Kenny Koplove (Batavia Muckdogs), RHP James Marvel (Bradenton Mauraders), RHP Michael Matuella (Hickory Crawdads), RHP Brian McAfee (Everett Aqua Sox), RHP Sarkis Ohanian (Daytona Tortugas), RHP Marcus Stroman (Toronto Blue Jays) and Ziemba (Orem Owlz).
Duke opens the 2018 season Feb. 16-18 at Vanderbilt. The Blue Devils once again face a challenging slate as 29 of Duke’s 56 games are against teams that registered 30 or more wins a season ago.