UNCGs Gilliam selected on second day of MLB Draft
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro junior Rob Gilliam was selected on Wednesday as part of the second day of selections in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. It marked the 13th time in the past 14 years that at least one UNCG player has been drafted.
Gilliam was drafted in the eighth round by the Oakland Athletics with the 243rd overall pick. On Tuesday, the first three rounds took place with 111 picks being made on the first day. The draft picked up on Wednesday at noon with rounds 4-30 taking place via conference call from the MLB headquarters in New York. Rounds 31-50 will conclude the draft on Thursday starting at 11:30 a.m.
"It is truly an honor be drafted by the Oakland Athletics," Gilliam said. "It has always been a dream of mine to play professional baseball and this just brings me one step closer to that goal."
Sporting a low- to mid-90s fastball, Gilliam began this past season as a starter before returning to his more natural position in the bullpen. As a reliever this season, Gilliam posted a 4.12 ERA and a 4-3 record to go along with his four saves. He struck out 66 batters in 54 2/3 innings of relief while yielding just 16 walks. Opposing hitters also batted just .193 against Gilliam when he came out of the bullpen.
Gilliam's efforts this season were also some of the best in the Southern Conference. He led the conference in opposing batting average with hitters batting just .224 against him. His 78 total strikeouts this season were seventh in the conference, and he struck out a league-high 35 batters looking.
In his three years since arriving at UNCG, Gilliam has already stamped his place in the school record books. His seven saves in 2008 were the fifth-most saves in a single season by a Spartan and his four saves this season tied him for 10th all-time in the same category. Those 11 total saves ranks him fourth in school history in career saves, and he is currently tied for ninth for the most games relieved with 62.
Gilliam will have until Aug. 17 to decide whether to sign a professional contract or return to UNCG for his senior season.
UNCG PLAYERS SELECTED IN MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT
2009: Rob Gilliam (P, 8th round, Oakland)
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, 6th, Detroit), Tonka Maynor (OF/1B, 47th, Pittsburgh – did not sign)
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