Five Alabama players and two Crimson Tide signees were selected on the third day of the MLB first-year player draft on Wednesday.
Alabama right-handed pitcher Deacon Medders was the sixth pick of the 20th round (593 overall), going to the San Diego Padres. Medders, a former American Christian Academy player, is the first player taken in this year’s draft from the 2018-19 Crimson Tide roster.
Right-handed pitcher Davis Vainer was the 29th pick of the 21st round (646 overall), going to the Houston Astros. Infielder Morgan McCullough was the 14th pick of the 22nd round (661 overall), going to the Los Angeles Angels. Pitcher Jeremy Randolph was the 18th pick of the 26th round (785 overall), going to the St. Louis Cardinals. Pitcher Brock Love was the fourth pick of the 34rd round (1,011 overall) to the Miami Marlins.
Three Crimson Tide signees were drafted as well Wednesday. Myles Austin (SS, Westlake, Georgia) was taken in the 20th round by the Milwaukee Brewers and Antoine Jean (P, Edouard Montpetit HS, Quebec) was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round and Owen Diodati (C, Stamford Collegiate, Ontario) was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 29th round. Tide signee CJ Abrams (SS, Blessed Trinity HS, Georgia) was taken sixth overall to the San Diego Padres on Monday.
Medders has provided the Crimson Tide with a reliable arm out of the bullpen in his three seasons. The Tuscaloosa product has limited opposing hitters to a lowly .234 average and punched out 114 hitters while maintaining a 4.02 ERA (49 ER/109.2 IP) across 59 appearances, including six starts. He has added seven saves to his name while going 4-7 overall.
His most impressive effort to date came this season. Medders finished with a 2-2 record and one save across a team-high 24 appearances spanning 31.2 innings. He punched out 51 to lead all relievers in strikeouts while holding the opposition to a .185 average against.
Vainer wrapped up his four seasons in Tuscaloosa as one of the top middle relievers for the Crimson Tide. He totaled six saves and held a 3-5 record in 61 outings for his career with one start while maintaining a 4.18 ERA (43 ER/92.2 IP). The Atlanta, Ga., native struck out an impressive 127 batters and limited the opposition to a .217 average.
Steadily improving on his numbers each year with the Tide, Vainer put together a solid redshirt junior campaign. The right-hander went 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA (11 ER/29.2 IP) and struck out 43 batters in his 17 appearances out of the pen. He held opposing hitters to just a .173 average, the lowest among all Crimson Tide pitchers. He also set career-best marks for pitches (73) and strikeouts, with six on two separate occasions, this past year.
McCullough excelled in his first season with the Crimson Tide. The junior college transfer finished as the team’s overall leader in triples (3) while tying for the lead in multi-hit games (17) and doubles (12) across his 54 games of action – all starts. He ranked second on the Tide in average (.309) and on-base percentage (.417) while also finishing second in walks at 38, a total that tied for eighth in the SEC regular-season ranks. A consistent threat to reach every time at the plate, McCullough got aboard in 51 of 54 starts, including all non-conference pairings and 27 of 30 SEC matchups.
A graduate transfer, Randolph was the Crimson Tide’s closer in 2019 while also seeing time as a starter. He went 3-2 and totaled nine saves to lead the team and rank in the top-10 in the Southeastern Conference during the regular season. Randolph appeared in 23 games with two starts and finished with a 3.49 ERA (15 ER/38.2 IP). The right-hander totaled 50 punchouts compared to only 15 walks and held opposing hitters to a .187 average this past season.
Love began his career splitting time as a starter and reliever before transitioning into a weekend starter role this season. He has maintained an 8-7 record with one save across 38 career outings, including 20 starts, totaling 115.0 innings. Love sports a career 4.30 ERA (55 ER) and has struck out 135 batters. He led all Crimson Tide pitchers in strikeouts in 2019 with 66 across his 60.0 frames. Love ranked second in starts with 13 to go with two relief appearances and sported a 5-5 record.