JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (June 7, 2014) – Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) became the second Buccaneer player to be drafted on day three of the Major League Baseball Draft as the ETSU junior shortstop was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 23rd round on Saturday afternoon. Riopedre was the 694th overall pick in the first-year player draft.
Riopedre, a 2014 Second Team All-Atlantic Sun selection, hit .280 (63-225) with 15 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 30 runs, and 42 RBI this past season for the Blue and Gold. The Miami, Fla. native ranked second on the team in doubles, home runs, and RBI. Riopedre also ranked second with 12 multi-RBI games for the Bucs. The Buccaneer shortstop had a career-high four-hits against Northern Kentucky on March 30, while driving in a career-high four runs versus USC Upstate on May 2. Riopedre also had one of ETSU’s five walk-off hits on the year as his game-winning triple carried the Bucs to a 5-4 win over Radford on April 30.
“It’s a great feeling to get your named called and to be drafted by the Washington Nationals,” said Riopedre, who started all 57 games at shortstop for the Bucs this past season. “I am fortunate to be drafted and want to thank all my coaches who helped me get to this point. I’m excited to be given this opportunity.”
When asked what it meant to have two ETSU players selected on Saturday, Riopedre talked about the importance of playing for coach Skole and the Buccaneers.
“It means a lot for both Clinton (Freeman) and myself to be drafted today,” added Riopedre. “This helps give ETSU some national attention. ETSU and coach Skole do a great job developing players, which helped make this dream possible. I am thankful for everything ETSU has done for me.”
Since 2012, Riopedre played in 162 games (151 starts) for the Blue and Gold, while totaling 144 hits, 28 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 75 runs and 86 RBI during his career.
“I am so excited and proud of Chris,” ETSU baseball head coach Tony Skole said. “To see how far Chris has come as a young man since he walked on campus three years ago is amazing. Through lots of hard work he turned himself into one of the best defensive shortstops in college baseball. Chris loves to play and it will be fun to watch him play at the professional level.”
The 2014 MLB Draft ended Saturday with rounds 11-40 wrapping up the three-day event.
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