HBCUs provided four draftees in rounds 19-29 of the 2018 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
1. Randy Norris
Winston-Salem State junior outfielder Randy Norris led the group with his selection by the San Francisco Giants in the 19th round.
2. Darrien Williams
Prairie View A&M senior pitcher Darrien Williams was picked in the 26th round by the Los Angeles Angels.
3. Marshawn Taylor
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Grambling State senior shortstop Marshawn Taylor in the 28th round.
4. Ray Hernandez
Alabama State senior third baseman Ray Hernandez closed out the HBCU draftees with his selection by the Atlanta Braves in the 29th round.
Norris has had an historic career at Winston-Salem State. He has played three years with the Rams and is currently the team’s career leader in hits (231), at-bats (608), and stolen bases (92). He is coming off of a stellar junior season that including finishing the season ranked fourth in the nation with a .437 batting average. He is also tied for ninth in the nation in stolen bases with 34. Last season, Norris led the nation with 47 stolen bases.
Williams is the first PVAMU baseball player since 2009 to be selected in the draft. He was a four-year player for the Panthers, and began his career as both an outfielder. He became a pitcher in year two before solely focusing on the mound during his final two years.
Taylor, who spent two seasons in the GSU Black and Gold, earned several accolades, including being named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in 2017. He is a two-time All-SWAC First Team shortstop and earned All-SWAC Tournament Team honors after Grambling State finished runner-up to Texas Southern in the 2018 Baseball Tournament.
Hernandez was among the nations best in several categories as he led Alabama State to the East Division championship in the SWAC this season. He finished the season hitting .379 with 11 home runs – both team highs for the Hornets – and finished with 45 runs batted in and 46 runs scored. He also connected on 12 doubles and led the team with a .601 slugging percentage as the Hornets made the semifinals of the conference tournament.