The Seattle Mariners selected left-handed pitcher Danny Hultzen from the University of Virginia with the second overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and not Rice 3B Anthony Rendon as many had thought.
Hultzen, 21, is 11-3 with a 1.57 ERA in 15 starts during his junior season for the Cavaliers in 2011. Hultzen has limited opponents to a .189 average while walking 17 and striking out 148 batters in 103.1 innings. He currently leads the ACC and ranks second nationally in strikeouts. He is also batting .330 (43x135) with 18 runs scored, 14 extra-base hits and 25 RBI. He was recently named the ACC Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season.
“Danny is one of the top pitchers in the draft with tremendous athletic ability,” Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara said. “We look forward to having him in our organization and working his way towards being part of our Major League rotation in the near future.”
Hultzen was named one three finalists for the 2011 Golden Spikes Award. The award is presented annually to the nation's top amateur baseball player. Hultzen joins Trevor Bauer (UCLA) and Taylor Jungmann (Texas) as finalists for the prestigious award.
Hultzen is 31-5 with a 2.18 ERA (74 ER, 305.1 IP) in 48 games, 47 starts in his collegiate career. He holds the University of Virginia career wins record with 31 victories and also owns the Cavaliers career strikeouts record with 378. He ranks third in University of Virginia history in ERA (2.18), innings pitched (305.1) and win percentage (.861) and fourth in games started (47).
Rendon is thought to be the top college hitter but his health issues obviously concerned the Mariners. Rendon has had two ankle surgeries and a shoulder injury this spring that limited him mostly to designated hitter. He was finally drafted with the No. 6 pick by the Washington Nationals.