N.C. Central pitcher Andrew Vernon had a record-breaking senior year and career, and now he’s added another historic entry as he became the first Major League Baseball draft pick from NCCU when he was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 28th round on Saturday.
“I’m ecstatic, this is definitely a dream come true. It’s hard to put into words.” Vernon said. “I can’t wait, it’s a great organization, and it’s been my dream ever since I was little. I can’t wait to see what happens, the guys I’ll meet, and the fan base. I’m really excited about everything that’s happening.”
A native of Raleigh, Vernon pitched four seasons for the maroon and gray and ended his career as the modern-era leader in career saves with 15 and kept a career ERA of 3.89 which tops the list as well.
Over his four years on the mound Vernon made a career-record 83 appearances with seven starts as he had an opportunity to move from the bullpen to the mound in his senior campaign. He was a 2016 First Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection after he nailed down four saves and led the league with 85 strikeouts, which set a new single season mark in the modern era at NCCU.
3 Blue Devils drafted on Saturday
The San Francisco Giants selected Duke baseball signee Adam Laskey in the 31st Round (No. 935 overall).
A 6-3 left-handed pitcher from Haddon Heights, N.J., Laskey is the second Duke signee selected in the 2016 MLB Draft, joining outfielder/first baseman Will Benson (team, round).
▪ The Philadelphia Phillies drafted Duke redshirt sophomore left-hander James Ziemba in the 37th round (No. 1097 overall).
Ziemba is the second current Duke player selected in the 2016 MLB Draft, along with teammate Bailey Clark (Chicago Cubs, 5th Round). In addition, Ziemba is the 10 Blue Devils and ninth Duke pitcher drafted under head coach Chris Pollard.
A 6-10 lefty with a difficult arm slot, Ziemba posted a 3.95 ERA in 19 appearances this past season. He fanned 36 batters over 27.1 innings and help opposing hitters to a .194 batting average.
▪ Right-hander Brian McAfee was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 38th round (No. 1140 overall).
McAfee is the third current Blue Devil picked in the 2016 MLB Draft, joining teammates Bailey Clark (Chicago Cubs, 5th round) and James Ziemba (Philadelphia Phillies, 37th round). In addition, McAfee is the 11th Blue Devils and 10th Duke pitcher drafted under head coach Chris Pollard.