June 6, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash - Washington State junior pitcher Travis Webb, selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth round, was the first of three Cougars picked during the opening day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Tuesday. In addition, senior outfielder Jay Miller was taken in the 17th round by the Philadelphia Phillies while the Texas Rangers selected junior pitcher Mike Wagner in the18th round.
Webb, a left-handed pitcher from Spokane, Wash., was the 234th player taken in the draft after posting a 4-0 record with eight saves and a 2.17 ERA this past season. His saves total was tied for second on WSU's single-season list and third in the Pacific-10 Conference. Opponents hit just .215 against him this season as he picked up conference saves against Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington.
Miller, from Bellevue, Wash., was the 517th player selected after he batted .361 for the season, sixth in the Pac-10, and led the conference in hits (88) and doubles (28). His doubles total were second in the NCAA while he also ranked No. 25 in the nation in toughest to strikeout (16.1). He began the season with a 15-game hitting streak and tied a school record by scoring five runs in an 18-10 win over Gonzaga (Mar. 3, 2006).
Miller finished his career as WSU's career hits leader with 308. That total placed him ninth all-time in the Pac-10, while his 74 career doubles are second all-time at WSU and the fifth-most in Pac-10 history. Miller also ended his Cougar career as the all-time leader in at-bats (224), tied for third in games played (227), fifth in walks (107), sixth in runs scored (161) and tied for ninth in RBIs (147).
Last week Miller captured the first All-America award of his career, garnering third-team honors from Collegiate Baseball newspaper and became the first Cougar All-American since Stefan Bailie earned honorable mention honors following the 2000 season.
Wagner, a right-handed pitcher from Woodinville, Wash., was the 538th overall selection. He posted a 5-6 record with a 5.67 ERA this past season, including wins against then-No. 10 Missouri and No. 17 Stanford. His lone save of the season came in a three-inning, one-hit relief effort at Arizona. His strongest effort of the year came against Chicago State when he worked five perfect innings, striking out a season-high 10 batters.
Along with Webb, Miller and Wagner, two high school seniors who had signed letters of intent to attend Washington State University this fall were also drafted. Stephen Englund, a senior at Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Wash., was taken in the second round, 74th overall, by the Washington Nationals. Three rounds later, Shawn O'Malley of Southridge High School in Kennewick, Wash., was a fifth-round selection of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the 139th player taken overall.