WEDNESDAY, JUNE 09, 2010
Loosen and Hawkins selected in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft
Lifelong dreams became a reality for juniors Matt Loosen and Jamaal Hawkins as they were each selected in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Loosen was selected in the 23rd round (700th pick) by the Chicago Cubs, while Hawkins will work towards playing at Target Field after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 28th round (855th round).
“This is a fun three days to watch,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We are excited to see two of our own players get their chance to become professional ballplayers. Matt and Jamaal have represented our program well and we will be rooting for them as they start their pro careers.”
Loosen, who was an Atlantic Sun Conference all-preseason team selection, finished with a team-best 86 strikeouts in 82.2 innings for work. Loosen returned to form after coming back from injury in 2009 by allowing one run on six hits and fanning career-best 11 batters in seven innings against No. 2 Florida State on March 8. He secured his third win of the season by striking out 10 batters and allowing a run on four hits at USC Upstate on April 2.
As a sophomore, Loosen earned second team all-A-Sun honors after ranking second in the conference in hits allowed, third in runs allowed and fifth in opponent batting average. He ranked nationally in strikeouts (59th, 91) and strikeouts per nine innings (43rd, 10.24). As a reliever, he went 1-0 with a 2.14 ERA, two saves and 27 strikeouts in 21 innings
Hawkins, who was on the Wallace Watch List for shortstops, enjoyed a breakout season by ranking second on the squad with 17 doubles, while taking third in hits (61), RBI (50) and stolen bases (11). He also led the team with seven sacrifice flies. Despite batting .250 (7-28) through 11 games, Hawkins tore the cover off the ball to finish the year at .332 en route to second team all-conference honors.
In 2009, Hawkins ranked second on the squad with a career-high 11 stolen bases and third on the team with a .324 average with runners on base. He was fourth with 11 doubles and 10 multi-RBI games, while taking fifth with 41 runs and 75 total bases. Hawkins also tallied a career-best 12-game hitting streak and belted his first career home run, a grand slam, against Stetson.
In JU program history, 98 players have been drafted by the professional ranks, including 43 players who have been selected since Alexander took over the program in 1991. Of the 98 players drafted, eight have reached the majors while two are currently continuing their careers at the minor league level.