June 5, 2012
QUEENS, N.Y. -
Jeremy Baltz and Matt Wessinger became the highest pair of St. John's players drafted since 1998 as the Red Storm had four players selected in the top six rounds for the first time in program history to highlight day two of the 2012 MLB Draft. Baltz went in the second round (68th overall) to the San Diego Padres, while Wessinger was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round (168th overall). Matt Carasiti was also taken by the Rockies in the sixth round (198th overall) and Kyle Hansen went to the Chicago White Sox in the sixth round (201st overall).
St. John's had a pair of selections in the top five rounds of the 1998 draft with Ron Marietta, a fourth round pick (123rd overall) of the Cleveland Indians, and Greg Peterson, a fifth round pick (147th overall) of the Detroit Tigers. The highest positioning for four draft picks prior to this year occurred in the 2005 MLB Draft when St. John's had four selections in the top 15 rounds.
"I am very happy and excited for this group and it is a true testament to the success of the program to have four players selected in the top six rounds," said head coach Ed Blankmeyer. "They have worked hard and performed consistently at a high level and have earned this opportunity. I am especially excited for Matt [Wessinger], who was drafted in the 37th round a year ago and had the courage to return to school and prove that he was a top-five rounder."
The first three-time first team All-BIG EAST selection since 2002-04 and a two-time NCAA Regional MVP, Baltz is batting .345 this season and leads the team in home runs (8), triples (4), RBI (51), runs scored (63) and slugging percentage (.534). The outfielder also has 12 doubles, a .434 on-base percentage and is 18-of-23 in stolen bases. The all-time leader in program history in both home runs (38) and RBI (196), Baltz was a consensus All-American as a freshman and earned both Louisville Slugger Freshman Player of the Year and NCBWA National Hitter of the Year accolades after leading the nation's freshmen in both home runs (24) and RBI (85).
Selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 37th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Wessinger returned to school and earned second team All-BIG EAST honors. The shortstop has a team-best 34 stolen bases, the most for a St. John's player since 1988, and also leads the team in batting average (.353) and on-base percentage (.442). A three-time NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team selection, Wessinger also ranks second on the team in doubles (13), home runs (6) and RBI (47). The program's all-time hit king, Wessinger also ranks first all-time in runs (192), third in doubles (59) and tied for third in RBI (172).
The Jack Kaiser Award winner as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2012 BIG EAST Tournament, Carasiti is 7-5 this season with a 3.98 ERA. The righty has made 18 appearances, including 14 starts, and has 64 strikeouts in 83.2 innings of work. Carasiti, who has worked as both a starter and a reliever in his career, is 16-11 in three seasons with eight saves and a 4.19 ERA in 66 appearances, 22 starts. Serving as the closer as a sophomore in 2011, the righty went 2-2 with eight saves and a 2.47 ERA.
A three-time All-BIG EAST selection, including first team honors in 2011 and third team honors in both 2010 and 2012, Hansen is 5-5 with a 3.46 ERA on the year. The righty also has a team-best and career-high 108 strikeouts in 93.2 innings of work. Hansen is 21-15 with one save and a 3.41 ERA in 51 appearances, 45 starts, in his career and ranks first all-time with 296.0 innings pitched and second all-time with 299 strikeouts. Hansen earned Freshman All-America honors as a rookie and was also the Jack Kaiser Award winner as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 BIG EAST Tournament.