Jun 7, 2014 12:14 AM by KVOA Sports (via University of Arizona)

Sahuaro's Verdugo, UofA's Farris selected in MLB Draft

TUCSON - Sahuaro High School star Alex Verdugo was selected in the 2nd round of the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday night. Verdugo was taken with the 62nd overall pick.

Verdugo, who many experts tagged as a pitching prospect, was drafted as an outfielder by the Dodgers. LA vice president of scouting Logan White says there is still a chance Verdugo could end up on the mound.

"He's a quality hitter...if he doesn't hit, he'll go right to the mound. I think he can be a big league pitcher," White said.

Meanwhile, University of Arizona baseball pitcher James Farris was selected by the Chicago Cubs Friday in the ninth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Farris was the 259th overall pick in the draft and he improved his position by six rounds by returning for his senior season.

Undrafted out of high school, Farris was picked by the Houston Astros in the 15th round of last year's draft, but instead opted to return for his senior season with the Wildcats.

As Arizona's Friday starter this spring, Farris posted a career-low 3.40 earned run average to go with a 6-6 record. He finished second in the Pac-12 with exactly 100 strikeouts, pushing his career total to 247 punch-outs. Additionally, Farris moved into sole possession of sixth-place in the school record books with his 47 career starts, and cemented his place as one of the school's best strike-throwers. With only 65 walks allowed in 320.1 innings pitched(10th-most innings pitched in school history), Farris boasted a 1.83 walks per innings ratio, which is second-lowest in program history behind Tad Heydenfeldt's (1986-87) top mark of 1.77.

One of the most consistent starting pitchers in the Pac-12, Farris never missed a weekend start in the last three seasons while turning in nine complete games. He went 7-3 with a 3.97 earned run average as the Sunday starter on the 2012 national title team, including a no-decision despite going 7.2 innings with only two hits allowed in the championship game against South Carolina that season. As a junior, Farris moved to the Saturday slot and turned in a 5-5 mark with a 4.18 ERA.

Farris is one of 11 players from the 2012 national championship team to be drafted. A handful of others are likely to hear their names called on Saturday as rounds 11 through 40 conclude this year's draft.


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