ATLANTA - The 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft was held last week and Jackson Lourie of Rhodes and Preston White of Birmingham-Southern comprised two of a dozen Division III players selected by major league teams.
Rhodes senior pitcher Jackson Lourie was drafted in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves. Lourie is the first Rhodes baseball player to be drafted by a MLB club in the history of the program.
This past season the right hander from Atlanta, GA posted a 1-2 overall record as a reliever and struck out 17 batters in 16 and 2/3 innings of work. Lourie began his collegiate pitching career six months ago and led the Lynx with 4 saves this year after being a three year starter at first and third base.
Rhodes Head Baseball Coach and Athletics Director Jeff Cleanthes believes Jackson was one of the best competitors he has ever coached. "After Jackson hurt his left hand in the middle of his junior campaign, he came to me wanting to help the team in any fashion and at that point we started converting him to a pitcher. He has a bright future and we are thrilled for Jackson and his family to have this opportunity," said Cleanthes.
The Lynx finished the 2017 campaign at 27-21 overall winning the Southern Athletic Association title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.
White was selected in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft, when he was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers. White, the final D-III baseball player selected, was the 1150th pick overall in the draft.
White had one of the best power bats for the Panthers this season, hitting a team-high 19 doubles and nine home runs. He batted .311 but had a .596 slugging, driving in 33 runs. He provided nearly as much value for the Panthers out of the bullpen this season, as he picked up four saves and had a 1.59 ERA in 15 outings. In 17 innings, he struck out 17 while walking just three. White was an honorable mention pick for All-Southern Athletic Association.
Rhodes sports information and D3baseball.com contributed to this report