SIUE Star Outfielder Brett Johnson Selected by Arizona Diamondbacks
EDWARDSVILLE – SIUE senior outfielder Brett Johnson (Joliet, Illinois) was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball Draft Monday afternoon. He was taken with the 288th overall pick.
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"I am really excited for Brett," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "The selection is well-deserved after the year that he had. He now gets the opportunity to pursue a professional baseball career, which has been a goal of his. It is very gratifying for him to see it come to fruition."
Johnson is the first SIUE player to be drafted since pitcher Spencer Patton was taken in the 24th round by the Kansas City Royals in 2011. Patton has made 101 career Major League appearances for the Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs.
A second-team All-Midwest Region selection, Johnson also was first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection following one of the most successful offensive seasons in SIUE history. He started all 55 games in center field and was second on the team with a .350 batting average. He set the single-season school record for home runs in a season with 23 and drove in 63 runs, establishing a new single-season benchmark at the Division I level.
Johnson finished second in the league and 16th in the NCAA in total home runs. He was ninth in the nation in home runs per game (0.42/game). He led the league in slugging percentage at .765 which also ranked ninth in the NCAA and is the best in a Division I season at SIUE.
In just two years at SIUE, Johnson hit 33 home runs, tying for the second most in school history and drove in 96 runs while hitting .329 and amassing an OPS of 1.116 in 105 games.
Johnson also becomes the second Cougar drafted by the Diamondbacks. Former SIUE pitcher Clay Zavada was taken by Arizona in 2006 and made 49 Major League appearances.
"Brett is a totally unselfish player who led our team from the top of the lineup," Lyons added. "He was a big-time energy guy and a great leader in our clubhouse, and I couldn't be happier for him."
The Draft concludes with rounds 11-20 Tuesday.
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