Redshirt senior Kyle McKenzie was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 20th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Saturday
June 7, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane baseball redshirt senior Kyle McKenzie became the second Green Wave player selected in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, as the native of Boston, Massachusetts was tabbed as the 20th round selection (607th overall) by the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
McKenzie joined redshirt junior Randy LeBlanc, who was selected in the tenth round on Friday by the Minnesota Twins.
McKenzie started his career as a reliever and a spot starter before becoming a dominant reliever during the final season at Tulane. During his career on the Uptown campus, McKenzie went 14-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 55 appearances - 16 starts - over 158.2 innings. The righty allowed just 162 hits while striking out 140.
During his freshman campaign, McKenzie made three starts while appearing in six other contests, going 2-1 with 15 strikeouts to his name. One of those wins came against in-state rival LSU on May 18. During his sophomore year, though, he suffered a season-ending injury after making five appearances. McKenzie bounced back big in 2012, making 14 appearances with five starts while going 4-2 with a 2.86 ERA. His redshirt junior season was quite similar to the previous year, going 3-3 in a career-high 19 appearances.
However, McKenzie saved his best stuff for his fifth season, as he became a dominant reliever and closer for the Green Wave in 2014. The righty led the Green Wave in saves with three, while going 3-0 in eight appearances, posting a miniscule ERA of 1.30 in 27.2 innings. McKenzie fanned 35 batters while walking just nine. Like his freshman year, McKenzie was the winning pitcher on March 25 when the Green Wave defeated LSU in extra innings.
A native of Boston, McKenzie was chosen with the 915th overall selection by the New York Yankees during the 30th round of the 2009 draft after his senior year of high school. He elected to attend Tulane instead of signing with the Yankees.
McKenzie is just the second player out of Tulane selected by the Rays, joining Anthony Scelfo, who was taken by the franchise from Tampa in the eighth round of the 2008 season. McKenzie also becomes just the second Green Wave player even taken in the 20th round of the First-Year Player Draft, as right-handed pitcher Tommy Little was taken by the Seattle Mariners in that round during the 1986 draft.
McKenzie became the 94th Green Wave player to be taken in the First-Year Player Draft.
Stay tuned to TulaneGreenWave.com for more draft news regarding the Tulane Green Wave baseball squad.
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