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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Two ASU players taken in MLB draft

  • Two Arkansas State Red Wolves were selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball player entry draft Tuesday.

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  • Two Arkansas State Red Wolves were selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball player entry draft Tuesday.
    Arkansas State senior Jacob Lee was selected in the ninth round by the Cleveland Indians.  He was the 293rd player taken overall in the draft, and records indicate that he is the highest drafted player in ASU baseball history.
    Arkansas State junior center fielder Michael Faulkner was drafted in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday, going as the 371st overall pick to the Seattle Mariners.  Faulkner’s 12th-round selection makes him the second-highest ASU pick in the history of the draft.
    Lee, a Jonesboro native and the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, led the Red Wolves to the finals of the SBC Tournament and a 34-23 record during the 2012 season.  He was named third-team Louisville Slugger TPX All-American last week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, becoming the first Arkansas State player since Josh Yates in 2006 and 2007 to be named as an All-American and the sixth overall to earn the honor.  Lee finished the season with a record of 9-1 and an ERA of 2.77, also earning first-team All-SBC honors at the end of the regular season.
    Faulkner (Memphis, Tenn.) was named to the Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament team after leading the Red Wolves to the championship game and a 34-23 overall record during the 2012 season.
    “We are very excited for Jake in being selected by the Cleveland Indians in the Major League Baseball Draft,” said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo.  “He was certainly a leader both on and off the field for us and has worked extremely hard, not only to fulfill his goals of playing professional baseball, but to help the Arkansas State program be successful.  He has been an outstanding ambassador for our program and we wish him success as he continues his baseball career.”
    “We are very proud of Mike in being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Baseball Draft,” Raffo said.  “He was certainly instrumental in the success we enjoyed this season, and being drafted in the 12th round speaks highly of his ability on the baseball field.  We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career with the Mariners organization.  We have certainly enjoyed having Mike as part of our program this season and during all of his three seasons at ASU.”
    Lee, the ASU career strikeout leader, struck out 86 batters on the season to rank fourth in the Sun Belt.  He struck out 11 in ASU’s two SBC Tournament games to bring his career total to 280. Lee broke the previous ASU record of 251 set by Rusty Bourg from 1967-70 when he struck out five batters April 22 at Florida Atlantic to finish the game with 255 career strikeouts.  He also finished with 24 career victories, leaving him one short of the ASU record, also set by Bourg.  His 322.1 innings pitched are also an ASU record.  He graduated from ASU in May with a degree in Sports Management.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to play professional baseball with the Indians organization,” said Lee.  “Playing professionally is a goal that I have always had, and I am extremely thankful to Arkansas State, coach Raffo and the ASU coaching staff, and my family for helping me prepare for this opportunity in my career.”
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