Utah shortstop Ryan Khoury was selected by the Boston Red Sox Tuesday. (Photo by George Seeley)
June 6, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah baseball team saw one of its former players and two of its potential players for next season selected on day one of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft Tuesday.
Utah senior shortstop Ryan Khoury, who completed his collegiate career with the Utes last month, was selected by the Boston Red Sox. Khoury was the 373rd overall pick in the draft and was the 22nd player selected in the 12th round.
"That is a great opportunity for Ryan and a great draft position," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "I couldn't be happier for him. He has earned this and he has done it by playing very well this last season. I am very excited and happy for him."
Khoury was the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2006. He led the Utes in virtually every offensive category this past season. Khoury's .438 batting average was the fifth-best mark in NCAA Division I last week. He was also ranked among the top 50 in the nation in runs per game (No. 6), slugging percentage (No. 14) and hit by pitch (No. 31).
Two other players with Ute ties were also selected Tuesday. Alta High School pitcher Josh Freeman and Salt Lake Community College pitcher Travis Barnett signed with Utah back in November.
Freeman was taken by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 11th round, with the 337th overall selection. Barnett went to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 14th round, with the 409th pick.
Kinneberg said he hoped to still have Freeman and Barnett on the Ute roster when the 2007 season rolls around.
"We'll know what those two are going to do very soon," Kinneberg said. "It is an exciting time for both of those players. I hope we can keep them. Those are the kind of guys we need to help build this program. It is great for us that we're signing the types of players who are getting drafted. But we're hoping they stay around."