Wednesday, June 15, 2016

BCU's Clay Middleton Drafted by Texas Rangers

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- For the second time in as many days, Bethune-Cookman Baseball saw a catcher selected in the 2016 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, as redshirt junior Clay Middleton was taken in the 22nd round on Saturday afternoon by the Texas Rangers. Middleton follows classmate Michael Cruz as the second B-CU draft choice, as Cruz was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the seventh round on Friday.

Clay Middleton, a 6-foot, 205-pound catcher from Oviedo, Florida, finished the 2016 season second on the Bethune-Cookman roster in batting average, hitting at a .335 clip on the campaign. The Hagerty High alum earned a spot on the 2016 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) First Team, in addition to helping the Wildcats to their league-leading 18th conference title and a berth in the NCAA Gainesville [Fla.] Regional.

Middleton was the 669th overall selection in this year’s MLB Draft.

Cruz and Middleton join the 2014 MLB Draft class of former Wildcats Keith Zuniga, Montana Durapau and John Sever as players that have served head coach Jason Beverlin, recently completing his fifth year at the helm in Daytona Beach.

In 2016, Middleton played and started in 47 games, most of them coming behind the dish for the Maroon and Gold. He collected 56 hits, adding 31 RBI’s, three home runs and scoring 25 runs. He fielded at a .983 clip, recording 204 putouts and 30 assists.

Across his three-year career, Middleton batted .261 in 138 career games. He added 114 hits and three home runs, all of the latter coming in 2016.

In 2014, Middleton made eight appearances starting behind the dish for the Wildcats before an injury sidelined him for the season, using a medical hardship waiver and a season to rehabilitate. He would go on to earn a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA.

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