IOWA CITY, Iowa – Three University of Iowa baseball student-athletes were selected on the final day of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Senior Joel Booker was picked in the 22nd round by the Chicago White Sox with the 656th pick, senior Nick Roscetti was taken in the 26th round by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 771st pick, and senior Tyler Peyton was chosen in the 29th round by the Chicago Cubs with the 884th pick.
Iowa head coach Rick Heller has had 11 players drafted since taking over the program in 2013 – the most in a three-year stretch since 1991-93. The Hawkeyes have had at least one player selected in each draft dating back to the 2007 season.
Booker was selected by the White Sox after enjoying a breakout senior season. The outfielder earned first-team All-Big Ten honors — the first Hawkeye outfielder since 2009 to earn the distinction — after leading the team with a .370 average with 87 hits, 19 doubles, two triples, and five home runs. He was 23-of-25 on the base paths.
The Columbus, North Carolina, native’s 87 hits were tied for the second-most in a single season in school history, while his 19 doubles were tied for the third most all-time. Booker, who is a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Breakout Player of the Year Award, finished his career as a .305 hitter with 138 hits, 26 doubles, 75 runs, and 62 RBIs.
Roscetti, a shortstop from Sherman, Illinois, was a two-time All-Big Ten selection during his Iowa career, earning first-team honors in 2016. As a senior, Roscetti hit .305 with 43 runs and a team-leading 39 RBIs. Defensively, he was one of the top shortstops in collegiate baseball, committing just five errors in 249 chances.
The Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award semifinalist hit .293 during his four-year Hawkeye career, with 174 hits, 90 runs, and 76 RBIs.
Peyton, a right-handed pitcher from Grimes, Iowa, was drafted for the second time in as many years (Cincinnati Reds, 33rd round), this time by the Cubs As a senior, Peyton went 4-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 13 appearances, including 12 starts, over 68 innings. He went 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA over his final four starts with a complete game shutout and a 26 1/3 scoreless innings streak.
In 2016, Peyton also hit .335 with 43 runs, 17 doubles, and 26 RBIs. The 2015 NCBWA All-American and John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year semifinalist finished his Hawkeye career with a .335 average with 182 hits, 97 runs, and 85 RBIs. On the mound, he went 16-10 with a 3.95 ERA over 239 innings with 166 strikeouts and two shutouts. He ranks in the top 10 in school history in innings pitched and strikeouts.
Peyton will have the option to sign with the Reds or return for his senior season, while Perry will have the choice to sign a professional contract with the Blue Jays or bypass the draft and join the Hawkeyes as a freshman for the 2016 season.