Program record nine Vols selected in MLB draft

Tennessee’s nine draftees is an NCAA best through the first ten rounds.
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 10:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 2:16 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOS ANGELES, Cali. (WVLT) - Six Tennessee players came off the board on the second day of the 2022 MLB Amateur Draft on Monday. That brings UT’s total to nine players selected through the first ten rounds - a program record for a single draft.

The Vols’ nine selections are an NCAA-best and shattered the previous program record of five draftees through the first ten rounds - a mark that was set just last year.

DMV native Trey Lipscomb was the first Tennessee player drafted on the second day, headed to play for his hometown Washington Nationals with the 84th overall pick.

Farragut alum and Walters State product Ben Joyce heard his name called shortly after, with the 89th pick by the Los Angeles Angels.

Two more UT players found new homes in the sixth round, when Will Mabrey and Jorel Ortega landed with the Diamondbacks and Twins, respectively.

Another two players - Seth Stephenson and Mark McLaughlin - were selected in the seventh round by AL Central teams. The speedy Stephenson was taken by the Tigers while McLaughlin was selected by the White Sox.

The first Vol selected in the draft came Sunday when the Houston Astros took Drew Gilbert with the 28th overall pick. The junior outfielder finished the year with 11 home runs, a fielding percentage over .900, and 109 putouts.

It was a special moment after the selection as fans got to hear high praise from Coach Tony Vitello who was a guest analyst on the MLB Network.

“It’s hard to put into words and not get emotional, he’s a phenomenal kid,” said Vitello. “Usually when you got a guy who plays like Ty Cobb on the field, he’s a maniac off the field. He could not be a better, nicer kid, Boy, I’m getting light-headed. Literally, at practice, we had to put in a rule to stay away from the outfield wall, because he’s fearless and wants to catch every ball and he’s also a relentless communicator with the corners in the outfield. Which is really important at our level but I think also at the next level.”

Jordan Beck was the second Vol selected. He came off the board with the 38th overall pick by the Colorado Rockies. The junior right fielder blasted 18 home runs last season and had a fielding percentage of .992 and 122 putouts.

Later in the draft, Blade Tidwell was the next Vol to get the call. He was taken in the second round with 52nd overall pick by the New York Mets.

The draft wraps up Tuesday with rounds 11-20. Coverage starts at 2 p.m.

Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.