GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro seniors Ricky Orton and Matt Gaski were selected Friday as part of the second day of selection in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Orton was picked in the 29t h round by the Florida Marlins with the 868th overall pick. Gaski was selected in the 34t h round by San Diego with pick No. 1035. A total of 1,504 picks were made in the 50 rounds of the draft taking place over a two-day span. It was the third straight year that multiple Spartans were selected in the draft. A total of 20 Spartans have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft process since the University added the sport in 1991. The Spartans’ most famous draft pick is current Houston Astros pitcher Brian Moehler, who was UNCG’s first-ever pick in 1993.
Orton, who ranks in the Top 10 in UNCG history in home runs, led the team with a .359 batting average on his way to All-Southern Conference honors. He was tied for the team lead with 15 home runs, second most in a season in UNCG history, and drove in a team-best 59 runs. His 59 RBI were fifth most in a season at UNCG. He was also second on the team in doubles this season with 20 and led the team with a remarkable .502 on-base percentage – second-best in school history – thanks in part to a school-record 61 walks. In two seasons at UNCG, Orton amassed 132 hits in 382 at-bats.
Gaski was third on the team with a .327 batting average and was third in on-base percentage at .422. From his shortstop position, Gaski, the son of UNCG longtime head coach Mike Gaski, committed just 11 errors in 314 chances. He led the team in total hits with 81, the sixth-highest total in UNCG history, and was second on the team in runs scored this past season with 61, which also ranked Top 10 in school history. In his two seasons since transferring from Florida, Gaski totaled 150 hits in 485 at-bats.
At some point in the future, Orton could wind up right back in Greensboro as that is the Marlins’ Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. Both Orton and Gaski were undrafted out of high school.
UNCG PLAYERS SELECTED IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FIRST-YEAR PLAYER
2008: Ricky Orton (1B, 29th, Florida), Matt Gaski (SS, 34th, San Diego)
2007: Guy Welsh (3B, 18th, Seattle), Lee Land (P, 28th, Oakland), Ryan Falcon (P, 29th, Texas)
2006: Jermaine Mitchell (OF, 5th, Oakland), Patrick Currin (P, 22nd, Oakland)
2005: Chris Mason (P, 2nd, Tampa Bay)
2004: Jason Metger (P, 23rd, Colorado), Jarrett Santos (P, 34th, Florida)
2003: Ryan Gordon (P, 43rd, Toronto)
2002: Everett Hancock (P, 28th, Detroit)
2001: Taft Cable (P, 8th, Philadelphia)
1999: Corey McDonald (P, 21st, Detroit)
1998: Lance Surridge (P, 13th, Boston)
1997: Lance Surridge (P, 14th, Baltimore - did not sign)
1996: Tim Giles (1B, 7th, Toronto)
1994: Tonka Maynor (OF/1B, 27th, Pittsburgh), Joey DeAngelis (1B, 33rd, Colorado), Dan Schneider (C, 36th, San Francisco)
1993: Brian Moehler (P, 6t h, Detroit), Tonka Maynor (OF/1B, 47th, Pittsburgh – did not sign)
- UNCG -