Two Dukes Selected in the MLB Draft
The Diamond Dukes might have had a disappointing season, but that doesn’t mean the roster lacked talent. Senior third baseman Ty McFarland and Junior pitcher Chris Huffman were each selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. McFarland was chosen in the 10th round by the
Evil Empire New York Yankees. The San Diego Padres took Huffan a few rounds later in the 14th. They were the 75th and 76th MLB draft picks in JMU baseball history.
Ty, son of JMU head coach Spanky McFarland, was the 302nd overall pick. He led the Dukes in practically every offensive category. This past season he had a slash line of .317/.390/.507 and picked up All CAA first team honors. He led the Dukes with 9 homers and had 23 extra base hits overall in 53 games. Additionally, he finished 3rd in the CAA in total bases with 115. He previously had earned All CAA third team honors twice and earned Freshman All America in his first year at JMU. He showed increasing power at the plate throughout his JMU career, with his slugging percentage rising each year. If the trend continues in the minors, he could make some noise in the Yankee organization.
Unlike McFarland who already graduated, Chris Huffman has the option to return to JMU for his senior season. He is reportedly negotiating with the Padres and has until July 18 to decide if he will sign and forego his final year of eligibility. The right hander has a big arm with a fastball that has been clocked in the mid-90s. Baseball America had him as the 3rd best draft prospect in the CAA prior to this past season.
Chris began his JMU career pitching out of the bullpen, serving as the Dukes’ closer his first two years. In 2014 however, he transitioned to the starting rotation and was JMU’s ace and Friday starter. He finished the year with a 6.43 ERA in 91 innings of work. He racked up 69 strikeouts against 31 walks in the process. Huffman showed the ability to throw a lot of innings and pitch deep into ballgames, notching 3 complete games. With a career ERA north of 5.00, we’re assuming that the Padres believe they can take Huffman’s raw power and ability and develop him into more of a complete pitcher.