June 6, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - After not hearing any of their players named called a season ago, the Tulane baseball team had a pair of players taken in the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. Senior Jeremy Schaffer was the 570th overall selection in the 18th round by the St. Louis Cardinals and junior Garrett Cannizaro was picked up by the New York Yankees with the 997th overall pick in the 32nd round.
Schaffer became the 86th player in school history to be picked in the Major League Baseball First Year Player when the St. Louis Cardinals called his name in the 18th round (570th Pick). The senior was a three-time First Team All-Conference USA - just the second person in school history to earn three nods to the first team - and earned CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America honors for his work in the classroom.
"I am happy to see Jeremy (Schaffer) get a chance at the next level," said Tulane head coach Rick Jones. "I have heard that they are going to play him a little at first base, which he certainly can do, and he is offensive enough to be able to do that at the next level. He is an athletic player and he (played first base) for us some in the past. I am excited for him. He earned the opportunity (to play at the next level)."
Schaffer ended his Tulane career as one of the most decorated players in school history and sits among the school's all-time leaders in a multitude of statistical categories. The Bellaire, Texas native graduated from Tulane's Freeman School of Business this spring with a degree in finance and was named to both the Conference USA All-Academic Team and the CoSIDA Academic All-District squad as well this season.
On top of being a standout in the classroom, Schaffer was a mainstay behind the plate for the Olive and Blue over the past four seasons. In four years he started 217 games - eighth most in school history - and set career-highs in seven offensive categories during his senior season. Schaffer ranks eighth in career home runs (41) and RBI (194) in the Tulane charts, while ranking among the top-20 in Conference USA history on both lists. His 59 doubles are ninth all-time at Tulane and he stands among the top-25 on seven other major offensive scales.
"Garrett (Cannizaro) had a really good year at third base for us," said Jones, "and became one of the premier third baseman in the country. He swung the bat well for us this season and when you swing the bat well you are going to get these kind of opportunities. Now, we'll have to wait and see what he decides."
Cannizaro has amassed 181 hits, 98 runs scored and 101 RBIs over his first three years, including a career-high 69 hits, 42 RBIs and 42 runs scored as a junior. In 2012, Cannizaro committed just five errors at the hot corner and hit .305 from the second spot in the order. He stole a career-high six bases during the 2012 campaign and tied his career-best with four home runs. He walked 18 times and was hit-by-pitch nine times to just 24 strikeouts.
"It's always good when you see your players get taken by the professional ranks," said jones. "I was disappointed that Nick (Schneeberger) and D.J. (Ponder) didn't get drafted, but I am sure they will get the chance to sign a free agent contract with (a professional team). When you do get guys drafted, especially when you see guys who improve their draft status, you feel like maybe they were able to develop more in your program."
MLB Draft Notes
- First Player Drafted from Tulane was John Olagues in 1965 (Cincinnati Reds, 3rd Round).
- Tulane has seen 87 players selected in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft since 1965.
- 118 previous Green Wave players have signed contracts with Major League Baseball teams.
- Jeremy Schaffer is the seventh player - first since Nathan Southerland in 2006 - to be picked by the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Schaffer was the 570th pick of the draft in the 18th round.
- Schaffer is the first Tulane player picked in the 18th Round of the MLB Draft, giving Tulane at least one player drafted in each of the first 28 rounds of the draft in school history.
- Garrett Cannizaro was the sixth Tulane player selected by the New York Yankees in the MLB Draft, which includes his brother Andy Cannizaro.
- Cannizaro was drafted as a shortstop with the 997th pick in the draft, marking the sixth shortstop drafted out of Tulane.
- 29 of the 32 MLB Teams have drafted at least one Tulane player; only the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates have not.