SECAUCUS, N.J. – The Houston Astros made Washington State redshirt sophomore Nick Tanielu the first pick of the 14th round in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Saturday.
Although he played third base for the Cougars for the past two seasons, Tanielu was selected by the Astros as a second baseman. He was the 406th pick overall and joins Yale Rosen (11th round, San Diego Padres) as Washington State student-athletes selected this season.
“First and foremost, I thank God, my dad and the coaches at Washington State,” Tanielu said. “I could not have done this without them. My family and the coaches have always been in my corner. Thank you to the Coug fans for always rooting for us in good times and bad. Thank you to the Astros for providing me an opportunity to pursue my dream of playing professional baseball.”
Tanielu started 53 of 54 games for Washington State in 2014 and hit a team-best .340, to rank sixth in the Pac-12. He is also tied for third in the Pac-12 with 16 doubles and tied for fifth with 70 hits. His .364 career batting average is third all-time by a Cougar.
It is the second-straight season the Astros have selected a Cougar in the draft. Last season, Houston grabbed Adam Nelubowich as a third baseman in the 18th round. Six Cougars have been selected by the Astros all-time including pitcher Steve Quealey (18th round, 1979), pitcher Guy Normand (13th round, 1986), pitcher Mark Small (17th round, 1989) and catcher Kevin Scott (32nd round, 1989). Small played in MLB with Houston during the 1996 season.