Nine players based out of New Hampshire were selected in the 2016 MLB draft, including one high schooler and three players out of NH colleges. Duncan Robinson, a 6’6 pitcher out of Dartmouth College, was the highest selection, going in the ninth round to the Chicago Cubs.
The senior pitcher was considered one of the best players coming out of the Ivy League. The Texas native was the consensus pre season conference pitcher of the year, and had a 3.28 ERA in 2016. He has a mid-90s fastball and a solid curveball and changeup, with the ceiling to be a mid level starting pitcher.
Dartmouth teammate Michael Danielak was a 28th round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He struck out 43 batters in 39 2/3 innings as a relief pitcher in 2016.
The Seattle Mariners selected two players out of the Granite State with 12th round pick Timothy Veihoff, a 6’4 left handed pitcher out of Southern New Hampshire University, and Paul Covelle, a pitcher out of Franklin Pierce University in the 27th round.
Viehoff struck out 115 batters in 92 2/3 innings with SNHU and had a 2.19 ERA this past season, his senior year. Covelle, a Massachusetts native, had a 1.96 ERA in 96 1/3 innings with Franklin Pierce.
Manny Cruz, a shortstop out of SNHU, was a 23rd round selection to the Cincinnati Reds. One of the best hitters out of any New Hampshire college, Cruz had a .487 on base percentage and 68 runs scored in 2016 as the leading hitter on the Penmen. Cruz hit .657 in his senior season at Wolcott High School in Connecticut. He’s always been an OBP guy, with a .380 OBP or better every season.
Justin Valdespina, the ace of the SNHU staff along with Viehoff, was a 15th round selection by the Colorado Rockies. He posted a 2.83 ERA this season and struck out 91 batters in 81 innings. He’s 6’2, 190 lbs and can still fill out into his frame.
Covelle’s teammate Jay Jabs was selected by the New York Mets in the 17th round. Jabs hit 14 home runs and hit .352 on the season. Jabs was a walk on in his freshman season, and will likely be assigned to short season Single A for his pro baseball debut. Jabs led the Northeast-10 in home runs, and is the third Franklin Pierce player to be drafted by the Mets.
Keene State’s Cody Dube was a 10th round pick to the Baltimore Orioles. A Maine native, he had 84 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings and a 1.20 ERA. Dube also played in the New England College Baseball League over the past three summers.
Kobie Taylor, an outfielder out of Portsmouth High School, was the only position player selected when the Texas Rangers drafted him in the 15th round. Taylor has a partial scholarship to Vanderbilt, a college baseball powerhouse, if he chooses not to sign in hopes of being drafted higher in the next few years.
Portsmouth has produced three draft picks since 2006 and has had a historic run over the past eight years. Portsmouth fell to Souhegan in this year’s Division II championship at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester.
Taylor has until August to sign, and if he does would likely be in low A ball to begin his career. Taylor had a wrist injury to start the season but was named in Baseball America’s top 300 prospects before the draft.