LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - McNeese's impressive run in the MLB Draft continued Wednesday as three Pokes heard their names called in the 2018 draft. Cowboy junior pitcher Grant Anderson, senior relief pitcher Austin Briggs and junior outfielder Shane Selman were all taken on day three.
The Cowboy' three selections ties the highest number of MSU players taken in a single draft (2007, 2011) and it's the first time that McNeese posted back-to-back drafts with multiple picks.
Anderson was first off the board as the Seattle Mariners came calling in the 21st round (628th overall). Anderson started 2018 coming out of the bullpen, but he quickly found his spot in the Cowboy rotation, making 10 starts. He posted a 4-7 record with a 3.86 ERA. Anderson led the Cowboys in innings pitched (81.2) and strikeouts (72).
Anderson said he will forgo his senior season and sign with the Mariners.
"The guys grow on you and become part of your family after a while and it becomes a harder decision than you ever think it'll be," said Anderson. "As sad as it is that I have to leave, it's also exciting and something I have been looking forward to my whole life."
Anderson said leaving his twin brother Aidan behind at school was the hardest part of his decision.
"I have been playing with [Aidan] since I could walk and he was my first teammate. I've been playing with my brother for so long and he may only have one year left and missing that will be kind of tough," said Anderson "[Aidan] was the first person to tell me congratulations and that he was rooting for me."
Following Anderson was fellow pitcher Austin Briggs. The southpaw was selected eight rounds later by the Oakland A's (29th round, 863 overall). Briggs sports a velocity in the mid-90's as he racked up 26 strikeouts in 29.1 innings of work in 2018.
Outfielder Shane Selman was the final McNeese pick of the day. Despite being a mid-round projection, Selman fell to the 39th round (1180th overall) where he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. The money and his draft position never lined up, so the Red Sox used a draft-and-follow pick on the former Barbe Buccaneer.
"The draft is crazy and it is a business for them and me too, but if you can strike a deal that is all that matters," said Selman. "If I play well this summer, then I could potentially be a Red Sock, but if I don't, then I will be back in the blue and gold."
In 2018, Selman led the Cowboys in home runs for the third straight season as Selman hit .273 with 10 homers and 32 RBI. It was a step back from his sophomore campaign when he 14 home runs on a .333 batting average.
Selman says having the possible option to sign or return to school is a weight off his shoulders.
"It kind of relaxes you a little more because you know they're interested," said Selman. "You know you can still to go back and play with your brothers at the same time."