Friday, June 6, 2014 | 11:25 a.m.
A breakthrough season on the Rebels’ mound is showing results in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft. After top starter Erick Fedde went No. 18 overall to the Washington Nationals on Thursday night, fellow junior right-hander John Richy went this morning in the third round (No. 98 overall) to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I am really excited and blessed to have this opportunity,” Richy said in a statement. “I want to thank everyone who has been there for me along the way.”
This is the first time in program history that UNLV has had two players selected in the first three rounds. The next closest was in 1986, when current Nationals manager Matt Williams went No. 3 overall to the San Francisco Giants and second baseman Steve Moser was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round.
Richy finished this season with a 3.2 ERA, a team-leading five complete games and a 4.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. When Fedde went down in early May with a season-ending elbow injury, Richy moved into the top starter’s role and performed well.
“We got a call late on John when recruiting him and actually met him in a Subway before he threw for us in a camp in Colorado the summer after his senior year of high school,” UNLV manager Tim Chambers said in a statement. “... He was a little out of shape, but I told my pitching coach that he was OK, but by the time he is a junior, he is going to be something special."
Richy helped the Rebels qualify for the NCAA Tournament with a career-high 12 strikeouts during a Mountain West tournament victory against Fresno State.
In the eighth round the Arizona Diamondbacks picked College of Southern Nevada outfielder Grant Heyman with the 240th overall pick. A sophomore transfer from the University of Miami, Heyman hit .377 this season with eight home runs, 43 RBI and 41 runs scored.
We will update this story as more Rebels or locals hear their name called. You can follow the draft live here.