June 7, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - George Springer and Matt Barnes were both taken in the first round of the MLB Draft on Monday night. Springer was selected by the Houston Astros as the 11th overall pick, while Barnes was the 19thoverall pick and was selected by the Boston Red Sox.
With tonight's 11th pick, Springer becomes the highest drafted Husky in program history.
The two Huskies join Charles Nagy as the only UConn players to be drafted in the first round. Nagy was taken in the first round of the 1988 amateur draft as the No. 17 overall pick. The two juniors are also the first BIG EAST players from the same team to be taken in the first round since 1989 when Seton Hall's Mo Vaughn and Kevin Morton were selected.
Springer and Barnes are also the highest drafted Huskies under head coach Jim Penders since he took over the UConn baseball program in the 2004 season. Prior to this year, former Husky Mike Olt was Penders' highest draft pick as he was taken as the 49th overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Springer, one of the most successful batters in UConn history, is leading the Huskies with 83 hits in 64 games played in 2011. He also leads the Huskies with 12 home runs, 77 RBI and 60 runs scored on the year. He adds 23 doubles, three triples and 36 walks.
Springer holds the all-time UConn record in home runs with 46 and runs scored with 219. He also owns UConn's single-season record in runs scored with 84, which he recorded in 2010.
Springer was named the 2011 BIG EAST Player of the Year and a Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He joined Barnes as a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist as well as an All-BIG EAST First Team selection.
Springer became UConn's first-ever BIG EAST Rookie of the Year in 2009. He was also selected as a Louisville Slugger and a Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA Freshman All-American in that same year. He was an ABCA Northeast First Team member and played in the 2009 NEIBA All-Star Game. In 2010, Springer was named to the ABCA Northeast Region First Team, the All-New England Second Team and the All-BIG EAST Second Team.
Barnes, who was selected as the No. 19 overall pick by the Red Sox, has had a stellar year at UConn as he has posted an overall record of 11-4 in 16 starts. He has recorded three complete game shutouts on the year and an ERA of 1.62 in 116.2 innings of work. Barnes has held opponents to a batting average of .177 and has a team-high 111 strikeouts.
In his career at UConn, Barnes has recorded four complete game shutouts, 241 strikeouts and 24 wins. He has also pitched over 250 innings as a Husky. He is ranked third among all-time Huskies in wins (24) and second in strikeouts (241), while holding the record for the most innings pitched in a single season with 116.2.
The junior is one of four all-time Huskies to record 10 or more wins in a single season and one of four Huskies to win 20 or more games in his career.
Barnes was named the 2011 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year and a Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He also was named to the 2011 All-BIG EAST First Team and was selected as a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award along with fellow teammate George Springer.
In 2010, Barnes was named to the ABCA Northeast Region First Team, the All-New England First Team and the All-BIG EAST First Team.