June 9, 2010
IOWA CITY — University of Iowa junior Kurtis Muller was selected in the Major League baseball’s 2010 First-Year Player Draft Tuesday. Muller was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round (667th pick). Senior Zach Robertson was picked by the Florida Marlins in the 30th round (917th pick) and incoming recruit Patrick Lala was selected in the 29th round (891) by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Muller, a native of Sun Prairie, WI, was named a second team all-Big Ten selection by the league’s coaches and was also an all-Big Ten Tournament selection. The junior outfielder led the team in 10 statistical categories, including at bats (218), runs (57), hits (83), triples (6), slugging percentage (.546), walks (24), hit by pitches (9), on base percentage (.460), stolen bases (30) and fielding percentage (1.000%). Muller’s 83 hits ranked fourth-best in a single-season in school history. When compared to others in the conference, Muller ranked in the top ten in fielding percentage (first), triples (second), stolen bases (second), batting average (fifth), on base percentage (fourth) and hits (fourth). He tied a school single-game record after collecting five base hits at Penn State. The lead-off hitter was named Big Ten Player of the Week twice this year (May 11 and May 25).
“We are very excited for Kurtis to get an opportunity to play professional baseball,” Head Coach Jack Dahm said. “He’s had a tremendous career at the University of Iowa, going from a freshman all-American to an all-Big Ten selection. The leadership Kurtis gave us was outstanding this season and we are very proud of the things he has done here with our program.”
Robertson, from Des Moines, IA, was dominant in conference play for the Hawkeyes. The reliever finished Big Ten play with a team-best 2.45 ERA and a 4-0 record in 13 appearances. Conference opponents hit only .195 off the southpaw and he struck out 24 in 22 innings of work. In overall games, Robertson had the second-lowest ERA on the team (4.02) and compiled a team-high eight wins with six starts and 24 appearances on the mound. The lefty finished his senior campaign with left-handed opponents hitting a mere .123 off him and a 2.5 strikeout to walk ratio. Robertson also had a lot of success in the Northwoods League and finished the season with the league’s records in career strikeouts (266) and career starts (37).
“I felt like once we put Zach in the bullpen it solidified our staff and bullpen,” Dahm said. “He had a great great senior year and a terrific career as a Hawkeye. Zach is incredibly unselfish and that is a great trait to have. I feel like he will have a long career as a relief pitcher and definitely be able to get guys out. I am also very proud he graduated in two years after transferring here from a junior college.”
Lala, a recruit hailing from Marion, IA, is a Kirkwood Community College junior transfer. His freshman year, Lala appeared in 19 games amassing 45 strikeouts in 40.1 innings of work and finished the year with a 4.86 ERA. Lala ranked third on Kirkwood’s all-time list in saves with six.
“Patrick has got a great arm and for him to get drafted shows the ability he really has as a pitcher,” Dahm said. “He has a decision ahead of him–whether he wants to play for Iowa or go on with the Phillies. I truly hope we can get him here, he will be a great addition to our bullpen and will be someone to help us win that Big Ten Championship next spring.”
Under Dahm, 20 Hawkeyes have been drafted. Fourteen players have been drafted in the past four years.
The first 30 rounds were completed today, with the final 20 rounds taking place tomorrow. Follow the draft live at www.mlb.com.