Creighton produced one of its best MLB draft classes in program history this week, and coach Ed Servais can’t wait to talk to potential recruits about it.
The Bluejays had six players drafted — the most since 1993 and second most all time. Three players were picked in the top 10 rounds for the first time in 28 years and right fielder Will Robertson, selected 117th overall Tuesday, became the highest drafted Bluejay since 1999.
Credit the players, Servais said. They weren’t on many scouts’ radar out of high school, yet they put the work in and maximized their skills.
But they did it at Creighton.
And that’s Servais’ recruiting pitch.
“We’re going to sell that as much as we can to these young players,” he said. “It brings a point home that this is a program that develops players. There’s programs that manage players and there’s programs that develops players.
“We’ve thought from Day 1 that we’re a program that’s going to develop players. The professional people are starting to realize that now.”
CU has been trending up lately. There were four Bluejays drafted last year, which marked the most since 2006. Of the 36 Creighton players selected during Servais’ 16-year tenure, 16 have come in the past four years.
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Five former Jays reached the majors this season, including Kansas City Royals infielder Nicky Lopez after rising through the farm system in three years.
Stories like those are “priceless” in the recruiting process, Servais said. Same goes for the once-unheralded players who heard their names called during the MLB draft this week. Mitch Ragan didn’t pitch his final two years at Millard West and started his collegiate career at Wayne State. But he will leave Creighton as a pro — the New York Mets drafted him in the 15th round Wednesday.
Shortstop Jack Strunc and pitcher Denson Hull began their careers at other spots, too, but found their footing at Creighton. Strunc went in the 25th round to the Miami Marlins. The Diamondbacks picked Hull in the 28th round.
In addition to Robertson’s selection Tuesday, second baseman Isaac Collins got picked in the ninth round by the Colorado Rockies and first baseman Jake Holton went in the 10th round to Detroit.
Collins couldn’t help but reflect after it all.
He remembers his first conversation with Servais. They were in the coach’s office on Collins’ recruiting visit. There weren’t many promises made — except for one.
“He told me from the time I get here on campus and when I leave, I’m going to be a better baseball player,” Collins said. “That couldn’t be more true. And that’s the same thing with all of these guys who got drafted.”
Servais and his coaches have even more validation now. They hope to take advantage of it.