SEACAUCUS, N.J. -- Seven Horizon League baseball standouts were taken on the final day of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. UIC's Jeff Boehm, Youngstown State's Frank Califano, Andrew Elliott of Wright State, Valparaiso's Drew Hasler and the Milwaukee trio of Justin Langley, Sam Koenig and Mitch Ghelfi all were tabbed in the draft.
The quintet joined UIC left-hander Ryan Hinchley, a ninth-round selection by the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, as Horizon League players selected in the 40-round draft. The eight total players taken in the draft is the most for the Horizon League since at least 2006.
For Boehm and Koenig, two of the top sluggers in the Horizon League, both were drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Boehm was the 405th overall pick, taken in the 13th round, while Koenig went in the 27th round, 825th overall.
The pair followed each others' paths all season, with both players tabbed as Louisville Slugger Third Team All-Americans early in the awards season and both being contenders for the Horizon League Player of the Year honor, which Boehm collected. Boehm and Koenig were each first team all-league honorees.
Boehm, a two-time Horizon League First-Team honoree, was voted as the conference Player of the Year this season after winning the league's Triple Crown award (.374 BA, 67 RBI, 14 HR) in the regular season. The Lansing, Ill. native also paced the conference in slugging (.687) and on-base percentage (.477).
Boehm served as one of the nation's top power hitters for 2015 and led the Flames to their 11th Horizon League Regular Season Championship in the last 16 years.
Boehm's 67 RBI broke UIC's single-season record and his 14 dingers are the third most by any Flames' player in a single year. Despite competing just two years for UIC, Boehm's 21 career homers ranks tied-for-eighth on the all-time leaderboard.
Koenig batted .361 with 57 runs batted in, scoring 58 runs while collecting 83 hits. A total of 36 of those hits went for extra bases, including a tally of 15 home runs that finished as the second-highest total in program history, trailing only the school record of 17.
He led the conference in runs scored, hits, home runs and total bases and was second in doubles, runs batted in and slugging percentage. His 151 total bases finished second all-time in UWM history, just missing the school mark of 155.
Califano joined Hinchley in the Chicago White Sox organization in the 19th round when he was the seventh player taken in the 19th round and the 562nd player selected overall.
Califano came to Youngstown State prior to the 2015 season after spending two years at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif. The 5-foot-11 centerfielder and leadoff hitter was a First-Team All-Horizon League honoree in 2015 as he batted .362 with 19 stolen bases. He ranked second in the conference in both batting average and steals, and he was six points shy of winning the regular-season batting title. He hit safely in each of YSU's final 24 Horizon League contests, helping him post a league-best .383 batting average in conference play. He finished 2015 on a 19-game hitting streak.
Califano finished the season with 75 hits, which tied for the ninth-most for a year in school history. Additionally, his 19 steals were the most by a Penguin since Kendall Schlabach and Kellen Dixon had 19 in 2001.
The fifth Penguin to be drafted in the last six years, Califano is the sixth player in program history to be taken in the first 20 rounds. The only YSU position players to go higher than the 19th round are Chris Durkin, a third-round pick in 1991, and Drew Dosch, a seventh-round selection in 2013.
Langley, a first-team all-League pitcher this season, was taken in the 16th round, 476th overall by Miami, making him the first of three Panthers to come off the board.
A draft-eligible sophomore, Langley helped UWM put a pair of first-team all-league selections on the mound for the first time in program history. He also went 6-2, finishing first in the league in opponent batting average (.212), fourth in ERA (3.33) and second in strikeouts (74) despite not being in the top 10 in innings pitched.
Ghelfi, a junior catcher, was taken by the hometown Milwaukee Brewers with the 15th pick of the 28th round, 841st overall. A second-team all-League selection behind the plate, finishing fourth in the League with a .356 batting average and second with a .463 on-base percentage. On the year, the switch-hitter accumulated 63 hits, 16 doubles, 40 runs, three triples, two home runs, 35 RBI and a .514 slugging percentage, which ranked seventh in the league.
Behind the plate, Ghlefi threw out 19-of-37 would-be base stealers (51 percent) despite splitting time while also playing infield.
The trio of Panthers drafted marked the second time that Milwaukee Baseball has had three players selected in the same draft, matching the 2012 class of Jordan Guth, Eric Semmelhack and Paul Hoenecke. Eight Panthers have been drafted since 2011 and now 18 all-time.
Wright State's Elliott was drafted by the Orioles in the 30th round with the 913th pick.
Elliott was the Horizon League Relief Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season in 2015 as well as a First Team All-League honoree. He tied for the league lead in saves with 11 as he posted a 5-4 record with a 2.61 earned run average. The right-hander recorded 56 strikeouts in 48.1 innings while holding the opposition to a .201 batting average.
With the 11 saves in 2015, Elliott finished with 25 in his career, good for third on the all-time Raider list. He passed current Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reliever Joe Smith (22) with three saves in the final regular-season series against Valparaiso at Nischwitz Stadium. Elliott also picked up a save in the league tournament versus UIC as the Raiders rallied for an 8-5 victory to advance to the championship.
Along with the 25 saves, Elliott struck out 146 batters in 144.1 innings during his WSU career in posting an 8-5 record with a 2.24 earned run average.
Elliott is the first Wright State player selected in the draft since Greg Robinson and Aaron Fields were drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians, respectively, in 2010.
Hasler became the third Horizon League player taken by the White Sox when the organization selected him in the 34th round (1,012th overall).
The 6'6'' hurler appeared in 11 games for Valparaiso this past spring. He fired four scoreless frames against Notre Dame on April 8th, surrendered just two earned runs in six innings versus Western Michigan, and blanked the Purdue Boilermakers for three innings on May 12th. For the season, Hasler assembled a 6.08 earned-run average.
The selection represents the sixth draft pick in the last six years and the 21st in school history. Hasler joins fellow right-handers Karch Kowalczyk (2014), Bryce Shafer (2010), and Dallas Cawiezell (2007) as the most recent pitchers to be taken out of Valparaiso.
Horizon League Baseball MLB Draft Selections
|Ryan Hinchley||UIC||LHP||Chicago White Sox||9th, 262 overall|
|Jeff Boehm||UIC||1B/OF||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||13th, 405|
|Justin Langley||Milwaukee||LHP||Miami Marlins||16th, 476|
|Frank Califano||Youngstown State||OF||Chicago White Sox||18th, 562|
|Sam Koenig||Milwaukee||1B/OF||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||27th, 825|
|Mitch Ghelfi||Milwaukee||C||Milwaukee Brewers||28th, 841|
|Andrew Elliott||Wright State||RHP||Baltimore Orioles||30th, 913|
|Drew Hasler||Valparaiso||RHP||Chicago White Sox||34th, 1012|