SAINT LEO, Fla. - Saint Leo senior first baseman and power hitter Fran Whitten was taken in day three of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday afternoon.
"I appreciate the opportunity that Coach O'Connor and the rest of our coaching staff gave me to prove myself," said Whitten. "The support from great friends and teammates has made all the difference."
Transferring to the Lions' squad from the University of Maine during his senior year, Whitten immediately stepped into a starting role as a first baseman and power hitter.
During the 2013-14 season alone, Whitten finished the year leading the Sunshine State Conference with 11 homeruns and 110 total bases. The native of Westborough, Mass., was selected to the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region First Team, NCBWA All-South Region First Team, and Daktronics All-South Region First Team. An All-Sunshine State Conference First Team selection, Whitten finished the year leading his team in numerous categories, including doubles, homeruns, RBI, slugging, and on-base percentage. From his position as a first baseman, he also led the Lions in putouts, with 324.
"In the short time that Fran was with Saint Leo baseball, he had a great impact on our success," said head coach Sean O'Connor. "We're very proud of him and happy for him and his family."
During last year's MLB draft, Saint Leo saw two players taken in the draft, as catcher Daniel Torres was selected in the 20th round by the Seattle Mariners and Rick Teasley was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 23rd round.
Whitten is the first position player from Saint Leo to be taken in the MLB amateur draft since 2007.
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