Record five Texas State players selected in MLB draft

Texas State third baseman Kyle Kubitza was chosen by the Atlanta Braves in the third round with the 115th overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft last week. He was one of a record five Bobcats players drafted. (Photo Courtesy of Texas State Athletics)

STAFF REPORT

Texas State third baseman Kyle Kubitza, pitcher Carson Smith and first baseman Casey Kalenkosky were all drafted on day two of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last Tuesday. Kubitza was chosen by the Atlanta Braves in the third round with the 115th overall pick, while Smith was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the eighth round with the 243rd overall pick. Kalenkosky had his name called in the 13th round by the Washington Nationals as the 397th overall pick.

A Texas State baseball record was set on day three of the draft last Wednesday when senior pitcher Joseph Dvorsky and junior second baseman Tyler Sibley were drafted to bring the Bobcats’ total to five players selected this year, the most that have ever been taken in Texas State history. Dvorsky was selected with the 20th pick of the 35th round by the Chicago White Sox, while Sibley was drafted with the 19th pick of the 50th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

With his third-round selection, Kubitza became the highest Bobcat draft pick since 2000 when Blake Williams was selected with the 24th pick of the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Kubitza is the third highest draft pick in Texas State history behind Williams and Scott Linebrink (1997, 56th overall pick in the second round, San Francisco Giants) and the highest position player ever selected from Texas State.

Kubitza, Smith and Kalenkosky became the 44th, 45th and 46th players to be drafted from Texas State in the MLB First-Year Player Draft since 1985. The trio of juniors also gives head coach Ty Harrington 25 players drafted since he took over the baseball program in 2000.

This marks just the second time in Texas State history that two Bobcats have been drafted in the first 10 rounds. The only other time it happened was in 2009 when Paul Goldschmidt was taken in the eighth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Ben Theriot was taken one round later in the ninth by the Kansas City Royals.

Other previous selections for the Bobcats in the first 10 rounds of the draft include Williams, Linebrink, Jason Martinson (2010, fifth round, Washington Nationals) and Darren Dreyer (1992, seventh round, Chicago Cubs).

A three-year starter for the Bobcats, Kubitza finished the 2011 season with a .310 batting average to go along with 10 home runs, 66 RBIs, 59 runs scored, 16 stolen bases, 12 doubles and a team-high seven triples. His 66 RBIs were the fifth most in a single-season in Texas State history, while his seven triples tied the single-season record. Kubitza also walked 54 times during the season, the second highest total in the team’s history.

Recently named to the Austin Regional All-Tournament Team, Kubitza was named to the All-Southland Conference First Team for the second straight season this year.

For his career, Kubitza ranks as the Bobcat leader in walks with 125 and is second in Texas State history in both home runs (27) and RBIs (145). He has also established himself in the top-10 in triples (tied for third, 10), hits (seventh, 181), runs scored (seventh, 142) and doubles (tied for ninth, 33).

This season, Smith was the ace of the Texas State pitching staff, finishing with a 9-3 record, 1.99 ERA and 129 strikeouts in a team-high 113 1/3 innings on the mound. Smith held opponents to a .216 batting average collectively and allowed just two home runs during the season. The 6-foot-5 right-hander’s ERA and strikeouts this season were both single-season bests for the Texas State baseball program.

Smith has already collected Louisville Slugger All-America Second Team honors this season in addition to being named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Three national publications dubbed Smith their national player of the week after a career-high 14 strikeout performance earlier this season against UTSA, and he was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week on three different occasions.

During his two-year career, Smith has already climbed into the top-10 in career ERA (second, 2.52), shutouts (tied for third, 3) strikeouts (fourth, 223), wins (tied for seventh, 19) and innings pitched (seventh, 218).

Kalenkosky joined the Bobcats this season after spending two years at Cisco Junior College. He made an immediate impact for Texas State, leading the team in home runs (21), doubles (17) and RBIs (69) while also posting a .327 batting average with 59 runs scored and six stolen bases from the middle of the order. His 21 home runs were the sixth most in the nation leading up to the NCAA Regionals and set a Texas State single-season record, surpassing the previous mark set by Luke Cannon in 2006 and tied by Paul Goldschmidt in 2009. Kalenkosky’s 160 total bases were also the second most in a single season, while his 69 RBIs rank tied for third on the single-season chart.

An All-Southland Conference First Team selection, Kalenkosky was named the MVP of the Southland Conference Tournament as he led the Bobcats to their first SLC Tournament championship since 2000.

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