SECAUCUS, N.J. – Oral Roberts catcher Matt Whatley was selected in the third round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft Tuesday afternoon with the 104th overall pick by the Texas Rangers.
Whatley, a junior from Claremore, Oklahoma, became the highest draft pick for the Golden Eagles since Alex Gonzalez was taken by the Rangers in the first round of the 2013 draft. Regarded as one of the top backstops in collegiate baseball, he is one of three finalists for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award and thrown out 43 percent of opponents attempting to steal a base.
The three-time All-Summit League honoree was the 10th catcher selected this year and the fourth player chosen by the Rangers in the 2017 draft. He joins former ORU standout pitcher Gonzalez (1st round-2013) and catcher Jose Trevino (6th round-2014) in the Texas organization.
Whatley made 165 appearances for the Golden Eagles during his three seasons and ranks sixth in program history drawing 115 walks. He posted a .340 batting average totaling 67 extra-base hits, 143 runs and 134 RBI.
Live coverage of the 2017 MLB Draft for day three continues Wednesday at 11 a.m. featuring rounds 11 through 40 on www.MLB.com.
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