Special Report to Blowing Rock News from App State Sports. By Mike Flynn. June 10, 2015. BOONE, NC — Four Appalachian State University baseball student-athletes were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim picked senior infielder Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) in the 21st round (No. 645 overall), the San Francisco Giants selected junior infielder Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) in the 23rd round (No. 696 overall), the Minnesota Twins tabbed junior outfielder Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) in the 24th round (No. 710 overall) and the Texas Rangers drafted senior left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) in the 30th round (No. 888 overall) of the 40-round draft.
Appalachian State’s four draftees match the program record set in 2009, 2012 and 2013. In all, 21 Mountaineers have been selected in the last eight MLB Drafts.
A former walk-on, Pierson led Appalachian State in hitting each of the last two seasons (.343 in 2014 and .346 in 2015). He finished his collegiate career with a .341 batting average, 30 doubles, 16 home runs and 86 RBI. His 41 walks this season were the 10th-most in program history and he ranked 33rd nationally in walks per game (.77) and 36th in on-base percentage (.469).
In just three seasons, Dobson already ranks fifth in Appalachian State history with 29 career home runs. His 12 homers this season rank 57th nationally and his .577 slugging percentage is good for 97th in NCAA Division I. He is a two-time all-conference honoree, having earned first-team recognition in the Southern Conference as a sophomore in 2014 and second-team plaudits in the Sun Belt as a junior this season.
Despite being limited to just 18 games as a junior due to a season-ending arm injury sustained while making a diving catch versus Texas State on March 15, Davis became the first Mountaineer to be drafted as an outfielder since Rand Smith in 2009. He was named a freshman all-American in 2012, set a school record with seven triples as a sophomore in 2013 and, in just 126 career games, is already tied for third in program history with 11 career triples.
Springs ranks among Appalachian State’s all-time leaders in career starts (43 – t-3rd), innings pitched (243.1 – 7th) and strikeouts (215 – 4th). He turned in the finest season of his career as a senior in 2015, going 4-2 with a 4.46 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 76.2 innings.
As juniors, Dobson and Davis have until Aug. 15 to decide if they will sign with the clubs that selected them or return to Appalachian State for their senior seasons. Pierson and Springs will begin their professional careers immediately.