Hemmerich, Mauricio Selected in MLB

Devin Hemmerich

Norfolk State University pitchers Devin Hemmerich and Alex Mauricio realized their professional dreams Wednesday, June 14, as both were selected during the third day of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. Hemmerich, a senior left hander, was selected in the 26th round with the 790th overall pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mauricio, a junior right hander, was drafted in the 27th round with the 812th overall pick by the New York Yankees. Prior to this year, NSU’s last draft pick was first baseman Ernie Banks, who was picked in the 44th round of the 2007 draft by the Florida Marlins.

Alex Mauricio

This also marks the first time since 2000 that NSU has had more than one player drafted in the same year. In all, Hemmerich and Mauricio are the 20th and 21st players in school history to be chosen in the MLB draft. They are just the seventh and eighth selections in the Division I era (since 1998). Hemmerich earned MEAC Pitcher of the Year and third-team All-American honors this past season after posting a 10-2 record and 1.97 earned-run average. Hemmerich struck out an NSU-record 118 batters in 105.1 innings pitched in 2017. He also set school records for wins (24) and strikeouts (315) in a career this year while matching the program’s single-season wins record. He ranked among the top 20 in Division I in strikeouts, wins, ERA and complete games (six).

Hemmerich became the first Spartan to earn Division I All-America recognition earlier this month when Collegiate Baseball News named him to its third team. In a day full of good news for the Norfolk native, Hemmerich was also named to the All-America third team by Perfect Game/Rawlings and to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-East Region first team on Wednesday. Mauricio, from Midlothian, Virginia, was honored as NSU’s first-ever MEAC Player of the Year in 2017. A semifinalist for the John Olerud National Two-Way Player of the Year Award, Mauricio hit .345 with a team-high 17 doubles, one home run and 27 runs batted in while also stealing 11 bases.

But Mauricio was drafted by the Yankees as a pitcher. In addition to his offensive numbers, the hard-throwing righty also served as one of NSU’s weekend starting pitchers, logging a 4-4 record and 3.49 ERA in 59.1 innings pitched while striking out 55 batters. Mauricio earned first-team All-MEAC honors as a utility player this season and as a relief pitcher as a sophomore in 2016, when he notched five saves.

Only three times prior to this season – in 1980, 1991 and 2000 – has more than one Spartan baseball player drafted in the same year. In 1980, infielder Ron Dillard (fifth round) and pitcher Don Howard (28th round) both heard their names called. In 1991, outfielders Andre Johnson (12th) and Wayne Wilkerson (26th) and pitcher Antonio Boone (33rd) were all drafted. And in 2000, pitchers Scott Schneider (12th) and Quentin Jones (30th) and first baseman Eric Crozier (41st) were selected.

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