June 13th, 2016

Messier drafted by Royals

John Spugnardi

Bellarmine University S.I.D.

Messier drafted by Royals
photo provided by Bellarmine athletics

Surprise announcements don't get much better than the one received by Bellarmine University rising senior Michael Messier from his summer league teammates on the Coastal Plain League's Edenton Steamers.

As the left-handed pitcher approached them pre-game on Saturday, an unknowing Messier was showered with congratulations as they informed him he was selected in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Royals with the 463rd pick.

"I looked at them and said, 'I have no clue what you're talking about,' " laughed Messier, who immediately went to the MLB Draft Tracker on his phone for verification.

"It's surreal and a dream every baseball player envisions. I don't think I've received as many texts and calls in a year as I have today."

Messier becomes the ninth Major League Baseball draft pick in program history and the second-highest selection after Todd Wellemeyer (fourth round, 2000, Chicago Cubs), who pitched eight seasons in the big leagues. Prior to Messier, Bellarmine's most recent draft pick was Patrick Brady (48th round, Seattle Mariners) in 2010.

Other Knights draft selections include: Michael Thompson (47th round, 2009, St. Louis Cardinals), Craig Bragg (45th round, 2000, Atlanta Braves), Paul Burke (34th round, 1998, Braves), Pat McClinton (31st round, 1993, Colorado Rockies), Scott Wiegandt (45th round, 1989, Philadelphia Phillies) and Scott Oliver (23rd round, 1981, California Angels).

Messier in 2016 tied for the fifth-most strikeouts in a single season in program history with 84. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound southpaw went 6-5 with a 4.74 ERA in 13 appearances, including 12 starts. He accumulated a team-best five complete games with one shutout.

Messier likely made a lasting impression on MLB scouting departments one year ago when he was named a Summer All-American by D2 Baseball News. Competing for the Utica Brewers in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, the native of Milton, Georgia, posted a 3-1 record with an anemic 1.38 ERA while striking out 36 in 45.2 innings pitched over eight appearances.

Messier was selected to the PGCBL's All-Star team and twice earned Pitcher of the Week accolades. He was rated fifth in Perfect Game's list of the top 25 prospects who played in the PGCBL.

Messier was contacted Saturday morning by the Royals and alerted about their draft intentions for him. Kansas City is the defending World Series champion.

Messier still has one year remaining of collegiate eligibility and will consider his options. He's enjoyed his experience at Bellarmine.

"It's a small community that gets behind each other 100 percent," he said. "That's the best thing I can say about Bellarmine."


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