SALT LAKE CITY — It has been a busy few days in the world of Major League Baseball as the draft has taken the better part of three days to complete.
From the state of Utah, 40 players put their names in the draft and hoped to be selected by one of the professional teams.
Day 1 of the draft came and went with no one from the state picked up. But on Day 2, BYU’s Jackson Cluff went to the Washington Nationals in the sixth round as a shortstop.
When Day 3 rolled around, the Utah players started hearing their names called. Utah’s Oliver Dunn was the first to go, getting nabbed up in the 11th round by the New York Yankees as the 345th overall pick.
Dunn, a second baseman, was named a third-team All-American last week and just wrapped up his junior season with the Utes where he hit .366 for the season and led the team with 71 hits, 45 runs and 28 RBI’s among other categories.
Dunn becomes the second player from Utah to be drafted to the Yankees, joining Steve Rudanovich (1965).
Cottonwood High senior Porter Hodge was the next off the board for the local players. Hodge, a right handed pitcher who is committed to play at Utah next year, was drafted in the 13th round with the No. 402 overall pick by the Chicago Cubs.
Hodge helped his high school squad to two state championship victories. During his senior season, Hodge went 8-0 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA.
Paxton Schultz of Utah Valley University went to the Milwaukee Brewers as a pitcher with the No. 433rd overall pick.
Schultz is the highest drafted player to come out of UVU’s program since they became a Division I school. During his junior season he tied the school record for strikeouts with 99 in 99.1 innings. He had a 4.08 ERA and held opposing batters to a .260 batting average throughout the season.
"I am happy for Paxton. He is such a competitor and a hard worker," UVU's head coach Eric Masden said in a statement. "He truly wanted this opportunity and has earned this chance by all that he's done. He has a bright future in this game."
Jayden Murray, a pitcher from Dixie State, went to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays picked him up with the 698th overall pick in the 23rd round.
His senior season, Murray broke the single-season record for strikeouts with 92, as well as strikeouts per nine innings with 9.93. He won 10 games and had two shutouts, which tied school records in both categories.
The last two picks of the day from the state of Utah were both from the high school ranks. In the 31st round, Kayle Yates, a shortstop out of Dixie High, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Cy Nielson of Spanish Fork High was drafted as a pitcher in the 40th round as the 1,210th overall pick to the Cincinnati Reds.
Yates is currently committed to play at Utah next year while Nielsen was planning on joining BYU’s team during the 2020 season.