Five Players Selected on Second Day of 2012 MLB Draft
Coastal Carolina had two players selected and Liberty had three players chosen on the second day of the 2012 MLB Draft on Tuesday, June 5. The Big South has now had six players selected over the first two days as Radford's Eddie Butler was drafted Monday night during the first compensatory round by Colorado with the 46th overall pick.
On Tuesday, Coastal Carolina pitcher Josh Conway was selected in the fourth round (134th pick overall, sixth pick of the fourth round) by the Chicago Cubs, while Liberty's Ian Parmley was chosen in the seventh round (235th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays later selected Coastal catcher Tucker Frawley in the eighth round (265th overall). Flames' hurlers John Niggli (ninth round by Texas) and Blake Forslund (15th round by Arizona) round out the Big South's day two draft picks.
Conway is the seventh-highest Coastal Carolina player selected in the MLB Draft and the Chanticleers now have 11 players over the last five years to be drafted within the top 10 rounds. Other top picks in CCU history include Frawley, Mickey Brantley (35th overall pick in 1983; second round), Kirt Manwaring (35th overall pick in 1986; second round), Anthony Meo (63rd overall pick in 2011; second round), Mike Costanzo (65th overall pick in 2005; second round), John Rigos (78th overall pick in 1983; third round) and Larry Raskin (99th overall pick in 1979; fourth round).
With its selections of the trio, Liberty has had 49 players selected in the 39-year history of its program and has had a player selected in every draft since 2000.
Conway was voted Second-Team All-Big South, marking his first League honor. The 2012 Preseason Big South Pitcher of the Year as voted by the League's coaches and Baseball America, Conway was dominant at times, but ultimately missed the last month due to Tommy John surgery. This season, Conway was 4-1 and he struck out 50 in 54.2 innings.
In 40 career games, Conway was 14-3 with four saves and a 2.68 ERA. In 178.0 career innings, he struck out 153 with just 56 walks. His 2.68 career ERA ranks sixth on the CCU all-time list during the Division I era and eighth overall.
In his first seven starts, Conway posted a 4-1 record. In his last two starts, the junior pitched just 3.2 innings versus High Point and 4.0 at Liberty, striking out eight despite the injury. He was 2-0 in Big South games, producing two impressive performances. Perhaps his best performance of the year came in a loss versus Virginia Tech in week two of the year. Conway struck out 10, walked none over seven innings, and allowed two runs. The following week, he pitched his first complete game to beat Ohio State, surrendering just three hits and one run. Conway was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2009 Major League Draft by the Atlanta Braves.
Parmley, who completed his career as a Flame this spring, becomes the highest Liberty draft pick since Jason Jones was taken by the New York Yankees in the fourth round of the 2004 MLB Draft. The 235th pick of the draft, Parmley becomes the second player in Liberty history to be selected by the Blue Jays. Left-hander Ryan Page was drafted by the same team in 20th round in 2008.
Parmley earned First-Team All-Conference honors this past season, starting every game and serving leadoff hitter for the 41-19 Flames. The outfielder hit .312 with 66 runs scored, 26 RBIs and 30 stolen bases this past season. He posted single-season career highs in runs scored, RBIs, stolen bases, hits (78), doubles (10) and walks (36) during the 2012 season.
Parmley tied for the Big South Conference lead in runs scored and stolen bases, while ranking fifth in hits and second in walks. He finished his career with 57 stolen bases, placing the senior sixth on Liberty's all-time stolen bases list. In addition, his 66 runs scored during 2012 are the second-most in a single season by a Flame.
Frawley had an impressive senior year, both on and off the field. He was named first team All-Big South and was one of 12 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which annually goes to the nation's top catcher. Off the field, Frawley was a first team Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America and 2012 Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He graduated summa cum laude with a 3.94 GPA in physics.
Frawley batted a career-high .296 this season and was an "Iron Man" behind the plate, catching 503 of the team's 560 innings or 89.9 percent. While his batting average dipped below .300 at the end of the season, he reached base safely (hit/walk/hit by pitch) in 52 of the 60 games he played to have an impressive .411 on base percentage. In addition, he handled a pitching staff that led the NCAA in ERA most of the season. He threw out an impressive 49 percent (25-of-51) of opponent base runners this season and added seven pick offs . For his career, Frawley threw out 40.6 percent (41-of-101) of his base runners. However, from midway through his junior season, Frawley ended his career by throwing out 36 of his last 71 (50.7) of his base runners.
For the year, Frawley scored 25 runs, hit eight doubles and one home run, drove in 27, walked 33 times and only committed four errors in 431 chances. For his career, Frawley batted .275 with a .378 on-base percentage with only nine errors in 854 chances.
Niggli, who completed his Flames' career this past season, becomes the highest Liberty pitcher to be taken in the MLB Draft since Jones in 2004. The 306th selection of the draft, the right-hander becomes the first Flame ever to be taken by Rangers.
Niggli posted a 9-4 record with one save and a 2.17 ERA in 2012. His nine wins and 2.17 ERA rank fifth on each of Liberty's single-season lists. He led the Big South with 103.2 innings pitched, while ranking second in the conference in wins and fourth in ERA. Niggli was selected the Big South Pitcher of the Week three times during the year (Feb. 19, March 4 & April 16).
This past year, Niggli was part of three shutouts, as the Flames set a Big South and school record for blanking in as season with 11. In two seasons at Liberty, Niggli fashioned a 2.86 career ERA, the lowest for pitchers who pitched 100 or more innings in Liberty history.
Forslund, the 483rd player selected in the 2012 MLB Draft, worked exclusively out of the Flames bullpen in 2012. The right-hander, who was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 17th round of the 2011 Draft, becomes the third player selected by Arizona in program history. The Diamondbacks took third baseman Tyler Bream 42nd round in 2011 and right-hander Michael Solbach in both the 2006 (48th) and 2007 (19th) Drafts.
In his second year at Liberty after transferring from Virginia in 2010, Forslund made 20 appearances in 2012, recording a 2-2 with a 3.74 ERA over 33.2 innings. The right-hander struck out 34 and walked 34. One of his 2012 wins came against his former team, as he pitched 3.2 scoreless hitless innings in Liberty's 8-0 win over then-No. 14 Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on Feb. 28.
The 2012 MLB Draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 16-40.