June 10, 2009
Tennessee pitchers Nick Hernandez and Ty'Relle Harris had their names called Wednesday afternoon in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. With the two selection, the Volunteers now have had 108 players drafted a total of 119 times since the free-agent draft began in 1965.
Hernandez was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 12th round (377th overall pick). Harris was picked by the Atlanta Braves in the 19th round (586th overall pick).
In 18 seasons as a collegiate coach, UT coach Todd Raleigh has now produced 38 MLB draft picks.
Hernandez has been the ace of the Volunteer pitching staff the last two seasons, leading the team in innings pitched and games started. In 2008, Hernandez led the SEC and ranked fourth nationally with 0.97 walks allowed per nine innings (nine walks in 82 2/3 innings pitched).
"I was hoping to go a little higher but I am excited and now I am just celebrating with the family," Hernandez said. "I am excited about the Phillies, I can say that I was drafted by the defending world champions and hopefully one day I will get to play for them. It was unexpected but the Phillies gave me a chance so we will see what happens."
This season, the Hialeah, Fla., native compiled a 4-5 record with a 5.23 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 21 walks in a team high 84 1/3 innings.
Hernandez is the tenth Tennessee player ever to be drafted by the Phillies.
Harris recently completed his four-year college eligibility, with the final two seasons coming as a Vol. The right-handed pitcher from Fairfield, Calif., compiled a 6-6 record with a 5.34 ERA including 16 starts and two saves in his two seasons at Tennessee.
He split his first two collegiate seasons, one at the University of Pacific and one at Sacramento City College.
Harris is the tenth Vol ever to be drafted by the Atlanta Braves.
Three Tennessee signees were also drafted. Left-handed pitcher Chad Bell (Knoxville, Tenn., Walters State CC) was selected in the 14th round by the Texas Rangers with the 424 overall pick in the draft. Right-handed pitcher Jon Reed (Tulsa, Okla., Tulsa Memorial High School) was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds in the 21st round with the 629th overall pick in the draft. First baseman Cody Stubbs (Waynesville, N.C., Tuscola High School) was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round with the 888th overall pick.