June 7, 2014
BEAUMONT - Sam Bumpers put together a stellar senior campaign for the Lamar baseball program this spring, and on Saturday, the All-American earned a spot on a professional roster as he was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the 653rd pick in the 22nd round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Later in the day, pitchers J.T. Autrey and David Carver were taken in the 32nd and 35th rounds, respectively, by the Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers.
Bumpers, who set the LU consecutive games with a hit streak at 28 earlier this year, is the highest-picked LU hitter since Collin DeLome was taken in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. The Bourbonnais, Ill, native finished his senior campaign as the team leader in average (.361), doubles (17), triples (6) and home runs (6), and he got better as the year went on, posting a league-best .421 average in conference games and earning Southland Hitter of the Year in the process.
"I'm extremely excited and honored to keep playing," Bumpers said. "I think I'm going to be flying out on Monday, and I can't wait to get out there and get started. It's been a long process to get here, and now it's time to play."
Bumpers is the fourth-ever Cardinal selected by the Rockies, joining Ricky Testa in 2009, Chris Buechner in 2004 and Mark Ion in 2003. The Denver-based team has also carried a pair of former LU standouts at the Major League level, Jerald Clark in 1993 and Randy Williams in 2005.
Autrey, the 954th pick, has been among LU's leaders in appearances on the mound in each of the past two seasons. The Stephenville native is coming off a season that saw him register a team-best 6-2 record and a 3.59 earned run average over 42.2 innings of work, and he is the first Card selected by the Blue Jays since C.J. Ebarb in 2006.
Carver, a senior southpaw, was taken with the 1,046th pick after going 2-2 with a 4.14 ERA over 41.1 innings. He's the third-ever LU pick by the Brewers, and the first since Mike Pasqualicchio in 1995.
Also drafted on Saturday was LU signee C.J. Moore. A high schooler out of Suffield Academy in Connecticut, the outfielder was selected in the 13th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
LU has now had at least one player drafted in 14 of the last 16 seasons, and 2014 marks the seventh in eight that multiple Cards have been selected.