Three players with Naperville ties were taken on the final day Saturday of the Major League Baseball draft.
Creighton University senior outfielder Mike Gerber came first off the board when tabbed by the Detroit Tigers with the 460th overall pick in the 15th round.
“I was out to lunch with some family and checked online and saw my name,” he said. “I was extremely excited. I felt a little bit of relief now because I was kind of stressing out about the draft. I really want to play pro ball and when I saw my name, I was just really excited and grateful that the Tigers believe in me and I can have an opportunity.”
Gerber, a 2010 Neuqua Valley graduate, led the Bluejays home runs and RBI with 11 and 49, both team highs, as Creighton went 32-17-1 during its first season in the Big East.
He was the only hitter to be a unanimous selection to the 2014 All-Big East first team after batting .274 — a year after seeing some of his junior season cut short by an appendectomy.
“I knew that I had to perform somewhat this year because I thought (in 2013) I had a pretty good year. Had a pretty good average, but the appendectomy happened with guys really coming and watching more heavily,” said Gerber, who added he had been talking with 10-15 teams throughout the year, with the Tigers showing heavy interest. “They really didn’t get a chance to see me play, so the draft didn’t work out the way I wanted it to last year. But I was able to put together a pretty good season this year.
“Just thankful that the Tigers are giving me a chance to pursue my professional baseball career.”
Meanwhile, the Cubs took Charlie White, a 2010 Naperville North graduate, with the 619th overall pick in the 21st round.
White, a redshirt junior center fielder, was named the Most Outstanding Player for Maryland in the Columbia, S.C. Regional last weekend. The Terrapins are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1971 as White is hitting .291 with 25 stolen bases out of the leadoff spot.
Taken in the 29th round by the Yankees a year ago, White had three hits and scored twice in the Terrapins’ 5-4 victory Saturday over No. 3 seed Virginia in the first game of the Super Regional.
Tomas Michelson, an Illinois-Chicago junior right-hander and a 2011 Neuqua Valley graduate, went in the 29th round, selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 877th overall pick.
“I played with him my senior year and I know he was doing great things over at UIC, so I’ll have to reach out to him,” Gerber said of Michelson. “That’s awesome for him.”Tags: Baseball, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley