William and Mary baseball finished another successful season on the diamond, going 34-22 (15-5 CAA). Their season came to an end at the hands of the College of Charleston in the CAA tournament. The Cougars represented the CAA well in the NCAA tournament, winning the Gainesville region and advancing to the super regional, but ultimately falling in game 2 to a strong Texas Tech team.
If the MLB draft is any indication, the Tribe had a pretty successful season. The draft occurred from June 5th-June 7th, and William and Mary had 3 players drafted, the most Tribe players drafted since 2008. That trumps last years NCAA tournament team, which saw 2 players drafted.
First to come off the board not only for the Tribe but also the whole CAA conference was junior Nick Thompson, who was drafted in the eighth round at 255th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals. Thompson thrived this season with the Tribe, finishing with a .368 batting average, 85 hits, 14 doubles, 11 home runs, and 37 RBIs.
He also recorded a .571 slugging percentage and a .479 on-base percentage. The incredible season earned him first team all-CAA honors as well as becoming the 7th highest player drafted in William and Mary baseball history.
Second to be drafted for the Tribe was junior Michael Katz, who was drafted in the ninth round by the New York Mets (265th overall). Katz finished the season with a 363 batting average, 87 hits, 24 doubles, a triple, 14 home runs, scored 64 runs, and had a school record 75 RBIs. He posted a .646 slugging percentage, and a .445 on-base percentage.
The awards began to rack up for Katz toward the end of the year, as he was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year and elected to the league’s first team. He was also named a Louisville Slugger First-Team All-American, and was a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and the Golden Spikes Award.
The final Tribe player to be drafted was senior Ryan Lindemuth, who was drafted for the second year in a row. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round last year. Rather than entering the MLB farm system, Lindemuth decided to return to William and Mary for his senior year, where he posted a .297 batting average.
He collected 43 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, six homers, and 34 RBIs, and was named to the All-CAA second team. His efforts earned him a shot in the MLB as he was drafted for the second straight year, this time to the New York Yankees in the 37th round (1,112th overall).
It remains to be seen whether Katz and Thompson will remain at William and Mary for their senior seasons or if they will forgo it to pursue a career in the MLB. It seems as though Katz is almost undoubtedly going to leave the Tribe to start his future with the Mets and Lindemuth will likely pursue his career in the Yankees farm system.
Congrats to these three Tribe players! Go Tribe!