Nick Kiel Drafted by Seattle Mariners; Bellevue Tops NWAACC in Most Players Drafted
Bellevue’s Nick Kiel was selected by the hometown team Seattle Mariners in the 18th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, which was recently completed on Saturday June 7. Kiel, who led the NWAACC in strikeouts this year (95), also has a scholarship to pitch at the University of Missouri. If Kiel elects to sign professionally, he will forego his opportunity to pitch in the powerful SEC Conference and will begin his professional career in the minor leagues at either the rookie or short-season A level. Kiel was the only player in the entire NWAACC drafted this year. Bellevue not only had the only recent draft, but also had the most drafted including former players as well. Colin Hering and Matt Cooper, who were both members of the 2011 NWAACC Champion team, were also selected in the MLB draft. Hering, who started in center field for two years at Coastal Carolina University after his Bellevue career, was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 10th round. Cooper, who was the University of Hawaii’s number one pitcher all year, and was an NCAA Player of the Week, was selected in the 16th round by the Chicago White Sox. Kiel, Hering, and Cooper join several other Bellevue players who are in the professional ranks. The Bulldogs currently have three more alums that are one step away from the major leagues. Pitcher Evan Meek, who started the season in the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles, has bounced back and forth between the major leagues and AAA this year. Blaine Hardy, a 2007 alum, is at the AAA level with the Detroit Tigers, and Michael Lee, another 2007 alum, is at the AAA level with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The six ex-Bellevue players in the pros leads the entire NWAACC in active professional players; five of the six are pitchers.