June 5, 2012
NEW YORK -
For the third year in a row, and the fifth time in six years, an Army player has been drafted in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft following J.T. Watkins' 10th-round selection by the Boston Red Sox organization on Tuesday.
Watkins, who starred as Army's starting catcher each of the last four seasons, was picked by the Red Sox with the 23rd pick of the 10th round.
A native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Watkins is the 10th Black Knight to be drafted by a major league club over the last eight seasons. His 10th round selection is the highest by an Army player since Nick Hill was taken in the seventh round of the 2007 draft.
A two-time All-Patriot League selection, Watkins holds Academy career and single-season records for percentage of base runners thrown out. Watkins batted .310 during his career with 10 home runs, 22 doubles and 104 RBI. He was named to the Watch List for the Johnny Bench Award each of the last two seasons.
Watkins becomes the ninth Army player in the last six years selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, joining Clint Moore (San Diego Padres) and Kevin McKague (Atlanta Braves), who were picked last year, Matt Fouch (Atlanta Braves), who was picked in 2010, Drew Clothier (Florida Marlins), Chris Simmons (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Cole White (Pittsburgh Pirates), who were all chosen in 2008, and Nick Hill (Seattle Mariners) and Milan Dinga (Los Angeles Angels), who were selected in 2007.
Additionally, Schuyler Williamson was selected in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by the Detroit Tigers and Mike Scioletti was taken the 43rd round of the selection process by the Chicago White Sox in 1998. In all, 11 Black Knights have been chosen by professional teams in the draft.