KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee baseball had two more players selected on the second and final day of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft on Thursday night.
Junior outfielder Alerick Soularie was the first UT player taken off the board on Thursday, going to the Minnesota Twins in the second round with the 59th overall pick. He was followed by fellow junior slugger Zach Daniels, who was taken with the final pick in the fourth round (131st overall) by the Houston Astros.
With its two picks on Thursday, Tennessee finished with three total players selected in the 2020 draft, extending its streak of multiple players being drafted to seven years. Junior left hander Garrett Crochet was selected with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round by the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. This year’s draft also marked the first time that UT had three players selected in the first four rounds since 2007 when J.P. Arencibia, Julio Borbón and James Adkins all went in the first round.
The SEC led all conferences with 26 total players selected in the 2020 draft, including nine in the first round on Wednesday, which also led all conferences.
Learn more about each of Tennessee’s Day 2 draft picks below.
Soularie was one of the most productive hitters in the Southeastern Conference as a sophomore in 2019. The Houston, Texas, native led the Vols in batting average (.357), slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.466) and runs scored (52) while ranking second on the team in hits (70), home runs (11), runs batted in (46) and total bases (118), ranking him among the top five in the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
After his breakout sophomore season, Soularie earned numerous postseason honors, including first team All-SEC recognition as well as All-America honors from D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game.
Despite a slow start in 2020, Soularie was hitting his groove entering SEC play before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the season was called, the preseason All-American led the team with five home runs and ranked second on the squad with 17 runs batted in. In UT’s final game of the season – a 17-5 victory over ETSU – Soularie had three hits, blasted a pair of homers and tied a career high with four RBI.
Soularie is the fifth Tennessee player to be selected by the Twins.
Daniels was in the midst of a breakout year in 2020 prior to the season being cut short. Despite playing just 17 games, Daniels had already set career highs in runs (20), hits (20), doubles (eight), RBI (18) and stolen bases (three).
The Stockbridge, Georgia, native was leading the team in batting average (.357), runs, doubles, RBI and slugging percentage (.750) before the season was canceled. Daniels was named the Round Rock Classic Most Valuable Player after helping lead the Big Orange to a perfect 3-0 weekend against some of the country’s top competition. In the Vols’ tournament opener against then No. 1 Texas Tech, Daniels went 2-for-4 with two runs and hit an inside-the-park home run to lead UT to a 6-2 victory.
During his three seasons on Rocky Top, Daniels combined to hit 13 home runs and drive in 44 runs. He also hit 11 doubles and scored 49 runs.
Daniels is the ninth Vol to be picked by the Astros.