If you're a long-time reader of the blog, you know I've talked up my brother, Zach, the last few years. For good reason. And while he may be my little brother, he is neither little, nor did he need me to talk him up.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels selected Zach in the 23rd round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. I firmly believe he should have been taken higher than he was, but that's another story.
I just want my bro to know that I could not be any prouder of him. In fact, our entire family is proud of Zach. He was blessed with God-given ability, and he has harnessed that natural ability and worked very hard to get to where he is today.
This year at Eastern Illinois, Zach put up a line of .349/.419/.554 for an OPS of .973. He led Eastern in 10 offensive categories (runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, total bases, average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, walks, and stolen bases). He was 2nd on the team in HRs, extra base hits, and RBIs. He batted leadoff 28 times and in the three hole 23 times.
For his career at Eastern, Zach's final line was .362/.450/.560 for an OPS of 1.010 in 539 ABs. He hit 23 HRs, 32 doubles, 3 triples, drove in 104 runs, scored 131 runs, stole 23 bases, had 302 total bases, and had a BB/K ratio of 76/85. He played right field his freshman year and third base his sophomore year. This year, he mostly played center field (25 starts) and right field. He also played third base and first base.
Zach was a 2011 Ohio Valley Conference First Team Selection and finished his career with the 6th best BA and 5th best OBP of all time at Eastern. For someone with Zach's skill set, drive, and work ethic the sky is the limit. The Angels have a helluva ballplayer on their hands, and an even better person.