June 7, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou baseball team saw four of its student-athletes drafted in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft this week. In all, a pair of Tiger seniors and a pair of Tiger juniors were selected from a squad that qualified for its eighth NCAA Tournament Regional in 10 seasons and won its first ever Big 12 Tournament Championship.
The four Tigers selected in the draft were: Blake Brown (179th overall, fifth round, Atlanta Braves), Eric Garcia (629th overall, 20th round, Atlanta Braves), Ben Turner (658th overall, 21st round, San Francisco Giants) and Blake Holovach (821st overall, 27th round, Seattle Mariners). Brown and Garcia have already signed with the Atlanta Braves while Holovach has yet to decide whether or not to come back to school for his senior season. Turner was a senior last season and now will have a chance to work his way up the Giants' organization.
Brown is Mizzou's highest pick since 2009 when both Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson were drafted in the first round of the draft. Brown was dubbed as a five-tool prospect from the day that he stepped on campus and was drafted in the 48th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates coming out of high school. Brown put together a solid junior season at Mizzou, hitting .302 with a team-best 51 runs while hitting 10 homers with a team-best 15 doubles, two triples while driving in 40 runs. He also stole 17 bases in 22 opportunities and slugged .520 with an OBP of .388 (.908 OPS). He was second on the team with 25 walks last season. Brown was honorable mention All-Big 12 and shined in the postseason and against some of the game's elite pitchers last season.
Garcia started at shortstop in every game in 2012 and put together his best season in Black and Gold. He hit .271 last season with 41 runs scored and 35 more driven in while hitting seven doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs. He also walked a season-best 33 times and stole 17 bases. He thrived in the leadoff position for the Tigers down the stretch and was named Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player after hitting .500 over the four games while playing spectacular defense.
Turner was arguably the Tigers' most valuable player this season, catching 93-percent of inning played while putting together his best offensive season to date. In fact, he hit in the three-hole for Mizzou for much of the season and batted .284 with37 runs, a team-best 12 doubles, a homer and 28 RBI. He was a spectacular defensive catcher this season as well, allowing just two passed balls in nearly 500 innings.
Holovach, a rising lefty at the collegiate level, burst onto the scene this season as he dominated in his first several starts and wound up putting together a solid season. He finished 2012 with a 5.08 ERA in 20 appearances (14 starts) and led the team with seven wins while picking up a save. He had 44 strikeouts in 79.2 innings pitched in 2012.
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