A group of Thunder Bay Border Cats alumni are getting the chance to continue their baseball careers.
Eight former Border Cats were selected in the Major League Baseball draft, which was held this past weekend.
Leading the pack was former pitcher Caleb Smith, who was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th round.
Smith, a junior at Rice University in Texas, made nine starts for last season’s Border Cats squad where he had a 1-1 record and 5.88 earned run average in 44 innings of work.
The next round saw a pair of former Border Cats taken off the board in successive picks, with both winding up in the Windy City.
The Chicago White Sox snared pitcher Matt Cooper in the 16th round. In the summer of 2012 Cooper recorded a 0-2 record in 13 appearances and six starts, sporting a 4.50 earned run average and striking out 44 hitters.
With the next selection the Chicago Cubs took infielder Jason Vosler. Last season the junior from Northeastern University was one of the club’s top hitters with a .275 batting average and swatting seven homers and driving in 47 runs.
Jerrick Suiter, who appeared in 16 games in 2012 while hitting .323 with two home runs and 19 runs batted in, was taken in the 26th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Two other hurlers from last season’s group were selected, as Matt Blackham was taken in the 29th round by the New York Mets and Ryan Atwood was nabbed in the 30th round by the San Diego Padres, two rounds after the club grabbed football star Johnny Manziel.
Canadian infielder and closer Michael Foster went in the 38th round to the Houston Astros. Foster played in nine games last year before being sidelined due to injuries.
Rounding out the selections was Brett Doe, a member of the 2010 squad. Doe was taken in the 38th round by the Minnesota Twins.
The only player on this season’s roster to be selected was pitcher Ryan Powers, who was taken in the 22nd round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Powers has yet to report to Thunder Bay.
The Northwoods League had three players taken in the first round, highlighted by former Madison Mallard pitcher and infielder Nick Howard selected 19th overall by the Cincinnati Reds. Former Eau Claire Express first baseman Casey Gillaspie was taken 20th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays and former La Cross Loggers shortstop Matt Chapman was picked 25th overall by the Oakland Athletics
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