By Kevin Mackey
Mequon, WI – Last week’s MLB draft lasted from June 3rd to June 5th with 40 total rounds of draft picks plus a few Competitive Balance rounds of draft picks. Over 1,200 players from high schools and universities now have the chance to live out their dreams and play baseball at the professional level. With the Northwoods League as one of the top summer college baseball leagues in the country, many players are selected in June’s MLB Draft each year. The Northwoods League has been a stepping stone for some of the MLB’s best talent with the likes of Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Milwaukee Brewers own Eric Thames, Ben Zobrist, and Jordan Zimmerman as Northwoods League alumni. Here’s a quick rundown of the five Chinooks recently selected in the MLB Draft.
Alec Marsh, Pitcher, Arizona State
Milwaukee native Marsh, a pitcher for the 2017 Chinooks team, was selected by the Kansas City Royals in Competitive Balance Round B that follows the the 2nd round with the 70th overall pick out of Arizona State. In his 2017 campaign with the Chinooks, Marsh went 5-2 with a 3.96 ERA in 50 innings over 5 starts. He allowed just 40 hits and struck out 43 batters.
Marsh finished his junior season with a 3.46 ERA over 101.1 innings pitched, the latter ranked among the top-20 nationally. Marsh struck out 99 batters in the year, the most for a Sun Devil pitcher since Seth Blair posted 108 in 2010.
Brandon Komar, Pitcher, Madison College
Komar, a native of Elkhorn, was selected out of Madison College by the San Diego Padres in the 13th round with the 383 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. As a member of the 2018 Chinooks ball club, Komar went 2-4 with a 6.50 ERA in 17 appearances. He struckout 31 batters in 37.1 innings of work.
Komar finished a 2-1 season with one save over 13 appearances that saw the righthander work more than 47 innings. The Elkhorn, Wisconsin, native had a 4.34 earned run average, was second on the team with 55 strikeouts, and walked just six batters. As a freshman in 2018, Komar saw action in 18 games and went 6-2 with a team-best four saves en route to a 3.14 ERA, 57 K’s, and 21 bases on balls. Uncommitted to another college program, Komar will sign with the San Diego Padres and report to the team’s Rookie League squads in Arizona.
Michael YaSenka, Pitcher, Eastern Illinois
YaSenka was selected out of Eastern Illinois University by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 515th overall selection in the 17th round of this years MLB Draft.
YaSenka is a junior right-handed pitcher moved into the role as the Panthers Friday night starter during the season. He led the Panthers with 100 strikeouts this season which ranked fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference and was the second best single season total in Eastern Illinois baseball history. He posted a 4-7 record with a 5.56 ERA during the season going five or more innings in 14 of 15 starts.
Nick Lackney, Pitcher, Minnesota
Lackney, a part of 2016 Chinooks team and Whitefish Bay native, was selected out of Minnesota in the 18th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Philidelphia Phillies with the 540th overall selection. As a member of the 2016 Chinooks team, Lackney appeared in 12 games with 3 of those as starts and 39.2 innings pitched. He posted a 3-2 record on the season, a 2.95 ERA, and struckout 28 opposing batters on the season.
At Minnesota, Lackney was the Gopher’s 2019 George Thomas Most Improved Player award winner. He transformed his season as he was sent to the bullpen. He made 20 appearances on the mound in his senior campaign at Minnesota, including two starts, finishing 4-4 with a 2.38 ERA and a couple of saves. The lefty also struck out 49 batters in 53.0 innings to round out his career-best numbers. The Whitefish Bay native wrapped his career with an 11-7 record with a 4.19 ERA in 148.1 innings spanning 65 appearances and 13 starts. He collected 134 career strikeouts compared to 76 walks and held opponents to a .234 batting average.
Jack Dunn, Infielder (SS/3B), Northwestern
Dunn, who was a part of the 2017 and 2018 Chinooks teams, was selected by the Washington Nationals out of Northwestern in the 20th round with the 603 overall selection. In Dunn’s 2017 campaign with the Chinooks, he hit .287 with 50 hits and 18 RBI’s and had an on base percentage of .356. The next year Dunn had a batting average of .316, 54 hits, 17 RBI’s, and an on base percentage of .439.
The 6 foot 2 inch infielder started every game at shortstop in his senior campaign, capping off a 211-game start streak, dating back to the first game of his rookie season. The consecutive start streak is the longest in Wildcat history. Dunn also finished 2019 with a team-best .340 batting average, 43 runs scored, and 36 RBI to also earn First Team All-Big Ten honors. The Alpharetta, Georgia, native is a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the best shortstop in college baseball. He ended his career with 230 hits, good for the ninth-most in Wildcat history.