OBU baseball's Matt Page and Julian Merryweather were drafted by the Washington Nationals and the Cleveland Indians, respectively, during the MLB draft on Friday.
Oklahoma Baptist senior right-handed pitcher Julian Merryweather was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians Friday afternoon, while teammate Matt Page was selected in the 10th round by the Washington Nationals.
Merryweather ended his career at OBU with a 22-5 record over two seasons. The All-American had a career ERA of just 1.73 in 182 innings pitched after tying the second-lowest ERA in program history with 1.07 in 2014. The senior from Berkley, Calif., registered 208 strikeouts with the Bison.
“We are extremely excited for Julian. This is a great reward for a lot of hard work and an excellent two years representing Oklahoma Baptist University,” said OBU associate head coach Chris Klimas. “The Cleveland Indians got themselves an outstanding pitcher and an even better person. The entire OBU family will be rooting for him.”
The Indians selected Merryweather with the 158th overall pick in the draft. “Nothing could have prepared me for that moment,” said Merryweather. “When you get that call that you’re going to play professional baseball, it’s like a dream come true. I have worked my entire baseball career to get to this point.”
Merryweather received first-team All-Sooner Athletic Conference honors and was also named to the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series All-Tournament Team. “I’m looking forward to the competition,” said Merryweather of playing at the next level. “I want to face the best hitters out there, that’s what it’s all about.”
Page finished his two-year career at OBU with a .383 average to go with a .703 slugging percentage. The two-time All-American from Redwood City, Calif., collected 165 hits and hit 26 home runs for the Bison. The 2013 NAIA Player of the Year, Page drove in 169 runs and scored 132 runs in his career.
“I’m just so excited to see the hard work and dedication he has shown to our program and university pay off,” Klimas said. “The high character and leadership skills that he exhibited for two years in our program will suit him well in professional baseball, and we will continue to be his biggest fans.”
The Nationals selected Page with the 304th overall pick. “There were a lot of emotions, but it was an amazing feeling to get drafted,” said Page. “The work is just beginning, because everyone is going to be just as good and better from here.”
With the selections, Page and Merryweather become the 39th and 40th Bison players to get drafted, and the first since Daniel Howell and Eric Fredrick in 2013.