SECAUCUS, N.J. – Three members of the UConn baseball team, Jack Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn.), Patrick Ruotolo (Peabody, Mass.) and Bobby Melley (Barnstable, Mass.), were selected on the third and final day of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft on Saturday in Secaucus, N.J.
After Anthony Kay (Stony Brook, N.Y.) got the action started on the opening night of the draft by going 31st overall to the New York Mets, Sundberg was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 26th round as the 784th overall pick. Two rounds later, Ruotolo was taken as the 815th pick to the San Francisco Giants before Melley was picked up as the 1020th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 34th round.
In total, UConn boasts 88 all-time MLB draft picks, including 42 under 13th-year head coach Jim Penders.
Sundberg, who served as one of three senior tri-captains in 2016, started in 61 games in his final season in Storrs, holding a .375 on-base percentage at the top of the Husky lineup. An American Athletic Conference All-Second Team member, Sundberg rounded out his career with 82 career steals – a number that ranks second in program history.
The senior OF blasted a career-best five home runs in 2016, driving in 28 runs and scoring 53 times. The Mansfield, Conn. native recorded 17 multi-hit games as a senior, including five three-hit efforts. A four-year letterwinner, Sundberg is one of only eight Husky players to play in 200 career games and also ranks in the top-10 in school history in runs (151) and walks (134).
Ruotolo heard his name called after a three-year standout career in the Connecticut bullpen, which saw him compile the fourth-most saves in program history (20). His 12-save 2016 campaign was tied for second-most in school single-season history and he struck out 47 batters in 40.0 innings of work on his way to a selection to the American Athletic Conference Second Team. In 120.1 career innings, Ruotolo fanned 148 batters and held a stellar 2.62 ERA.
A 2015 NEIBA All-New England First Team member, Ruotolo’s 72 career appearances rank fifth in program history.
A two-time captain, Melley hit .316 in 241 games over his four-year career in Connecticut. The Husky 1B finished third in Connecticut history with 290 career hits and also ranks in the top-five in games played (241), at-bats (917), doubles (60) and RBIs (170). After tallying five home runs in his first three seasons, Melley roped a career-best 11 round-trippers as a senior, finishing first in The American with 53 runs scored on his way to a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.
To keep up with the Huskies during the offseason, follow @UConnBaseball on Twitter and use the hashtag #HookC.
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