BOCA RATON, Fla. - While the Florida Atlantic Owls' baseball team was in between innings during the decisive game of the Gainesville Regional on Monday, the Tampa Bay Rays used their second round MLB Draft selection on FAU junior shortstop Tyler Frank.
At about 11:15 p.m., in between the top and bottom halves of the fourth inning, Frank became the 56th pick overall, and second-highest draftee in Owls' program history. The Loxahatchee, Florida, native wrapped a brilliant three-year career with multiple accolades, including being named the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year.
In the 38-year history of FAU baseball, Frank becomes the 89th Owl draftee and the 25th since Head Coach John McCormack was elevated to that role in 2009. He becomes the third Owl to stay in state as a Rays' draftee, following Mike McKenna (2008) and Ryan Garton (2012). Only another FAU shortstop, C.J. Chatham two years ago, was selected higher, going No. 51 to the Boston Red Sox. To that end, here is a list of the top 10 earliest draft picks in FAU history:
- 1. Chatham - 2016 - #51 overall, Boston
- 2. Frank - 2018 - #56, Tampa Bay
- 3. Jeff Fiorentino - 2004 - #79, Baltimore Orioles
- 4. Tommy Murphy - 2000 - #80, Anaheim Angels
- 5. Billy Brown - 1997 - #89, Toronto Blue Jays
- 6. R.J. Alvarez - 2012 - #114, Los Angeles Angels
- T-7. Brendon Sanger - 2015 - #135, Los Angeles Angels
- T-7. Austin Gomber - 2014 - #135, St. Louis Cardinals
- 9. Mike McBryde - 2006 - #146, San Francisco Giants
- 10. Nick Presto - 1996 - #150, Cincinnati Reds
The 2018 MLB Draft continues Tuesday, with rounds 3-10, starting at 1 p.m. It will wrap Wednesday, at noon, starting with the 11th round and continuing until the final selection of round 40.