By ASU Media Relations
ALABAMA — Alabama State University shortstop Emmanuel Marrero was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the seventh round (202 overall) of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft Friday.
Through the first 10 rounds of the Draft (held Thursday and Friday), Marrero was the lone HBCU product that was chosen.
Marrero (6-0, 195, Jr., Caguas, PR) becomes the highest draft pick from Alabama State University, surpassing Rufus Ellis who was selected in the 24 round of the 1985 Draft by the Kanas City Royals.
Marrero is the sixth Hornet selected in the MLB Draft, joining Jesse Clevelend (1965), Willie Garrison (1967), William Hardy (1979), Rufas Ellis (1984 and 1985), and Adrian Urquhart (2002).
The 2014 Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year put up career-best numbers in 2014. Marrero hit .329 (fourth on the team) with four home runs and 58 RBI, committing just six errors in 256 chances (.977 fielding percentage).
He led the SWAC in hits (73), triples (eighth), total bases (117) and two-out RBI (25), was second in RBI (58), tied for second in doubles (16), sixth in runs scored (44), and eighth in slugging percentage (.527). “Today is a very special day for me,” Marrero said. “Thanks to God, my family, my teammates, and Coach Melendez for believing in me. I’m a Hornet for life.” Marrero started 159 of the 167 games played in an ASU uniform, helping lead the Hornets to back-to-back 30 win seasons in 2013 and 2014, 89 overall wins in three seasons, and a SWAC Eastern Division title.
“I’m very happy for him,” Alabama State head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez said. “He’s worked extremely hard to be considered one of the best defensive players in this year’s draft. He’s one of the best human beings I’ve ever coached.” Marrero was second on the Hornets in both multi-hit games (22) and multi-RBI games (16) in 2014, including back-to-back 5+ RBI games at Alabama A&M (6 RBI on 3-for-5 game on 3/16) and at Samford (6 RBI on 2-for-4 game including GS on 3/18).
For his career, Marrero hit .270 with 27 doubles, eight triples, eight home runs, 97 RBI and 31 stolen bases. “I always knew he was going to be a special player,” said Melendez of Marrero, who worked his way from hitting .185 as a freshman to as high as .378 earlier this season. “I’m glad he had the drive to become one of the best to ever come out of Alabama State.”
“He made some plays defensively that some big leaguers would be proud of. Offensively, he had a great year, highlighted by tying for the national lead in triples and being in the Top 15 in RBI.”