HUNTINGTON - Two stars of Marshall University's 2019 baseball team and a pair of recruits for the 2020 Thundering Herd were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday.
The Oakland Athletics picked redshirt junior shortstop Elvis Peralta in the 26th round. The Milwaukee Brewers picked senior left-handed pitcher Josh Shapiro in the 34th round. Two signees also were selected. Outfielder Zane Zurbrugg of Shoreline (Washington) Community College was taken by Milwaukee in the 27th round. Catcher Ryan Leitch of Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 30th round.
"It's always been one of my goals for this to happen and I couldn't have gotten here with out help of my family and coaches," Peralta said. "Feels good to know someone believed in me."
Zurbrugg, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound sophomore center fielder from Bremerton, Washington, was an All-Northwest Athletic Conference first-team pick this season after batting .385, slugging .533 and posting a .488 on-base percentage. He also led the Northwest Region with nine doubles and is known for a strong arm.
Leitch, a 6-2, 210-pound catcher, was a Rawlings All-Canada honorable-mention pick. A member of Canada's Junior National Team, he also plays first base. As a catcher, he showed an impressive pop time of 1.91 seconds on throws to second base. Prep Baseball Report writers reported Leitch "can hit for power while also staying behind the dish. He has a strong, muscular frame with bat speed and the ability to use the whole field. ... Impact power potential with the ability to catch."
Peralta, a transfer from Crowder College, put up a slash line of .357/.425/.571, all bests among Marshall batters. Peralta hit a team-leading nine home runs and had a team-best 80 hits to go with 42 runs RBI. An All-Conference USA first-team selection, Peralta has the option to return to Marshall for his senior season.
Shapiro posted a 3.61 earned run average in 84.2 innings this season and struck out 80 while going 5-4. He was a All C-USA second-team selection.