Three MW Student-Athletes Taken On Second Day of 2015 MLB Draft
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Juniors Bubba Derby of San Diego State and Joey Armstrong of UNLV, along with Aztec senior Steven Pallares, joined Fresno State's Taylor Ward on the Mountain West's 2015 Major League Baseball Draft List during Day Two of the annual selections. Ward, also a junior, was selected 26th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the First Round of the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Monday.
Derby is a three-time All-Mountain West Conference pitcher, while teammate Pallares was the league's Second Team utility player in 2015. Derby was the Friday-night starter for the Aztecs and finished the season with an 8-4 record and 3.32 earned run average in 103 innings pitched. He had a MW-best 131 strikeouts against 34 walks on the season. Pallares, SDSU's top hitter in 2015, started all 64 games and wrapped up the season with a .352 batting average, 69 runs scored and 48 driven in. He also made six appearances on the mound in relief.
Armstrong started 54 games for the Rebels in 2015. From his starting outfield position and lead-off spot in the batting order, he was .277 from the plate with 34 runs scored and 26 driven in.
A 2015 First Team All-Mountain West catcher and Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, Ward is the ninth player in Conference history, and 17th in Fresno State history, to be chosen in the first round. He is the first MW catcher to be taken in the first round of the draft and the fourth Bulldog catcher to be drafted in the last three seasons (Austin Wynns, 10th round & Trent Garrison, 28th round, 2013; Trent Woodward, 20th round, 2014).
Ward, from Oviedo, Florida, hit .304 for the season as the only Bulldog to start all 59 games. He scored 39 runs, drove 42 in on 65 hits, including 14 doubles, two triples and seven home runs. Ward spent the summer of 2014 competing on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.
Selections resume at Noon ET on Wednesday, June 10 with Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com. Underclassmen have until July 17 to sign with their draft teams or return to their university for an additional season of competition.