KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee baseball was well represented in 2019 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday afternoon as the junior foursome of Andre Lipcius, Garrett Stallings, Andrew Schultz and Zach Linginfelter were all selected on Day 2.
All four players were drafted between rounds three and nine, marking the first time UT has had four players taken in the first nine rounds of the MLB Draft since 2001 when Chris Burke (first round), Wyatt Allen (first round), Jeff Christensen (fifth round) and Stevie Daniel (sixth round) were all selected.
Lipcius was the first Volunteer picked on Tuesday, going to the Detroit Tigers with the 83rd overall pick in the third round. He is the highest-drafted Tennessee player since current Cincinnati Reds’ outfielder Nick Senzel went No. 2 overall back in 2016 and is the 27th player in program history to be selected in the top three rounds. A three-year starter for UT, Lipcius improved his offensive numbers during each of his three seasons on Rocky Top while also playing a different position each year.
The Williamsburg, Va., native started every game for the Vols at first base as a freshman before becoming the team’s starting shortstop as a sophomore. Lipcius started all 61 games for UT at third base this season while setting career highs in runs (51), hits (73), doubles (15), home runs (17), RBI (58), slugging percentage (.586), walks (31), on-base percentage (.399) and stolen bases (10). Lipcius’ 16 regular-season home runs were second in the Southeastern Conference while his 56 RBI and .600 slugging percentage both ranked seventh in the conference. For his career, Lipcius has a slash line of .300/.393/.483 and has racked up 190 hits, scored 122 runs, smashed 25 homers and driven in 126 runs.
Stallings was the second Tennessee player off the board, being taken with the 151st overall pick in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He is the highest-drafted UT pitcher since Bryan Morgado went in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. The junior right hander had a career year for the Big Orange on the mound, leading the team with 16 games started, eight wins, 102.2 innings pitched and 106 strikeouts, which were all career bests. Stallings was the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was also named the SEC Pitcher of the Week twice, becoming the first Tennessee player to accomplish that feat since James Adkins back in 2007.
At the conclusion of the regular season, Stallings was the SEC leader in innings pitched (92.1), strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.54) and walks allowed per nine innings (1.27). His 98 punchouts and eight victories also ranked sixth in the league at season’s end. The Chesapeake, Va., native has a career earned run average of 3.76 and has gone 16-14 overall in 52 appearances (35 starts). After recording just 76 strikeouts in his first two seasons, Stallings saw a massive increase with 106 punchouts this season and has 182 for his UT career.
Schultz was the third Vols’ player selected on Day 2, going to the Philadelphia Phillies in the sixth round with the 180th overall pick. After being used sparingly during his freshman and sophomore seasons, the hard-throwing right-handed reliever had a breakout campaign in 2019.
Schultz set career bests in appearances (26), wins (three), innings pitched (25.0), ERA (3.24), saves (two), strikeouts (39) and opponent batting average (.191). The Alpharetta, Ga., native did now allow a hit in 17 of his 26 appearances and gave up a run in just four of his outings this season. Schultz is one of the hardest throwers in all of college baseball with a fastball that has been clocked as high as 101 MPH and is consistently in the 95-97 MPH range.
Linginfelter was the final Tennessee player to be drafted on Tuesday. The junior right hander selected with the 271st pick in the ninth round by the Angels, joining Stallings as Vols’ pitchers taken by Los Angeles. Linginfelter set new career highs with 16 games started, 68.2 innings pitched and six wins this season while also tying a career best with 71 strikeouts. He was named SEC Pitcher of the Week on March 25 after throwing six shutout innings and striking out 13 batters in a win over Indiana.
The Sevierville, Tenn., native has racked up 12 wins, five saves and 203 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .236 batting average during his three seasons in Knoxville. This is Linginfelter’s third time being drafted after being picked in the 19th round by the Washington Nationals in 2018 and the 16th round by the New York Yankees in the 2016 draft out of high school.
The third and final day of the 2019 MLB Draft will begin at noon tomorrow with rounds 11-40. Coverage of the draft can be found on the MLB Network as well as MLB.com.