Picked in the draft
Bradley pitcher JOE BIRCHER ’12 was selected by Houston in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft in June. He is the third Bradley player in history to be drafted by the Astros. He was assigned to Tri-Valley in the New York-Penn League.
Bircher set school career records for strikeouts (302) and innings pitched (359.2) and had a 21-16 overall career record. He also tied for the second-best season strikeout record this year with 113.
Bircher’s career record for strikeouts topped the record of WYMAN CAREY ’59. The pair was honored at a Braves game in May (at right). Carey, who played from 1955 to 1957, starred for the 1956 College World Series team and still holds the season strikeout record. He set the 1957 national ERA mark (0.37) and was a second-team All-American that year.
JASON LEBLEBIJIAN ’13 was chosen by Toronto in the 25th round of the draft. A three-year starter at shortstop for Bradley, he was team co-captain the past two seasons. An honorable mention all-MVC selection as both a freshman and sophomore, he signed with the Blue Jays in June, and was assigned to its rookie league team in Bluefield, West Virginia.
Another Bradley pitcher, JACOB BOODEN ’12, signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals. He was assigned to the rookie league team in Johnson City, Tennessee.
— Bob Grimson ’81