Two Rebels Drafted On Final Day
June 7, 2014
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV junior third baseman T.J. White and senior first baseman Patrick Armstrong were selected on the final day of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday as the Minnesota Twins picked White in the 18th round at 530th overall and the Los Angeles Angels picked Armstrong in the 39th round at 1,169th overall.
“You dream about getting drafted as a little kid and actually being drafted is really exciting.” White said. “I have really enjoyed my time as a Rebel and am looking forward to the next step.”
“It is an absolutely incredible feeling getting drafted,” Armstrong said. “Playing professional baseball is a dream that every young kid has and I’m excited the Angels are giving me a chance. I can’t thank UNLV enough for giving me the opportunity to play here. These last two years have been great and I will be a Rebel for life.”
Armstrong and White joined fellow Rebels Erick Fedde, who was drafted 18th overall by the Washington Nationals on Thursday, and John Richy, who was drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, on being picked up by a major league squad this year.
White earned All-Mountain West Second Team honors and made the All-Mountain West Tournament Team while finishing the 2014 season with a .318 batting average, which ranked second on the team. The Las Vegas native led UNLV with 15 doubles and 46 runs scored and hit two home runs and while driving in 38 RBI. He stole a team-high 18 bases, which were the most by a Rebel since Ryan Kowalski stole 20 bags in 2004.
“T.J. is a really good baseball player,” UNLV head coach Tim Chambers said. “I’m happy that a major league club is giving him a shot. He is super talented defensively and it’s good that some people recognize that.”
Armstrong earned All-Mountain West First Team honors as a senior and led the Rebels with eight home runs. He was third on the team with a .303 batting average as a senior and finished with a career-batting average of .332. He drove in a team-high 49 runs, hit five triples and scored 40 runs. In his career, Armstrong recorded 89 RBI, 15 home runs, 28 doubles and scored 69 runs.
“I think Pat has the greatest story in college baseball,” Chambers said. “He went from being a walk-on and having no chance to play to leading our team in hitting as a junior and being First Team All-Mountain West as a senior. Now he gets to live his lifelong dream of becoming a professional baseball player.”
UNLV also had four members of its 2014 recruiting class selected during the three-day draft: Brock Dykxhoorn, a right-handed pitcher from Central Arizona College in Ariz., selected in the sixth round by the Houston Astros; Gabe Gonzalez, a right-handed pitcher from Arbor View High School in Las Vegas, selected in the 13th round by the Texas Rangers; Hunter Bross, an outfielder from Notre Dame High School in Ariz., selected in the 34th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Payton Squier, an infielder from Greenway High School in Ariz., selected in the 39th round by the Oakland Athletics.