Three Former Bucks Selected in First Round of MLB Draft
Waterloo, Iowa – Three former Waterloo Bucks players heard their name called in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft on Thursday. A.J. Puk, Cody Sedlock, and Dane Dunning were all selected in the first round, setting a new Northwoods League record for the most players to play for the same team taken in the first round. The three players are the first former Bucks ever to be selected in the first round, with Puk becoming the highest drafted former Buck in team history. All were part of Waterloo’s 2014 squad.
Left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk was taken 6th overall by the Oakland Athletics. A product of the University of Florida, Puk played as both a pitcher and infielder with the Bucks in 2014. A Cedar Rapids, Iowa native, Puk pitched in two games, starting both and earning a 2.08 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 8.2 innings pitched for Waterloo. At the plate, Puk played in 11 games, hitting .227 with two doubles and three RBI. For the Gators, Puk is 16-9 in his career with a 3.45 ERA in 36 starts. He has been among the best at limiting opposing hitters with a career .204 batting average against and 245 strikeouts – the sixth most in school history.
With the 27 overall pick, the Baltimore Orioles selected right-handed pitcher Cody Sedlock. A product of the University of Illinois, Sedlock played with the Bucks in 2014, finishing with the ninth best ERA in the NWL with a 3.27 mark. In addition, the Sherrard, Illinois native tied for the league lead in starts with 13 and finished the year with a 5-3 record. Sedlock struck out 53 while walking just 29. This season for the Fighting Illini, Sedlock set single-season records for strikeouts (116), innings pitched against Big Ten opponents (64.2) and strikeouts against Big Ten opponents (75) on his way to the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year award and first team All-American honors by Baseball America.
The third former Buck selected in the first round was right-handed pitcher Dane Dunning who was taken by the Washington Nationals with the 29th overall pick. Dunning played with Waterloo in 2014, finishing with a 3-3 record and a 3.14 ERA. In 43 innings pitched, the Fleming Island, Florida native struck out 39 and held batters to a .239 average. This season for the Gators, Dunning has allowed the fewest runs (20) among qualifying SEC pitchers and walked just 11 batters, third best in the conference.
The 2016 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft continues on Friday with rounds 3 through 10.
The Bucks play at Riverfront Stadium where the team welcomed a new state of the art video board in 2016 thanks to a matching grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association. Team ownership has invested more than $170,000 in improvements since the end of the 2014 season including painted bleachers, public Wi-Fi, sound system, group outing areas, and concessions equipment. Season tickets, individual game tickets, and group outings are currently on sale by calling the Bucks’ Ticket Line at (319) 232-5633. Fans are encouraged to stay in touch during the season with the Bucks by utilizing their website at www.waterloobucks.com or utilizing the Waterloo Bucks app.
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The Waterloo Bucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.waterloobucks.com.