Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Tampa Bay Rays
news

Rays News

Rays select five players on the first day of the 2018 MLB Draft

The Tampa Bay Rays tonight selected the following five players in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

MATTHEW LIBERATORE LEFT-HANDED PITCHER ROUND 1 - NO. 16 OVERALL
B/T L/L HT/WT 6-5/200 BORN. 11/6/1999 SCHOOL Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS

The Tampa Bay Rays tonight selected the following five players in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

MATTHEW LIBERATORE LEFT-HANDED PITCHER ROUND 1 - NO. 16 OVERALL
B/T L/L HT/WT 6-5/200 BORN. 11/6/1999 SCHOOL Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) HS

  • Ranked as the No. 2 overall player in this year's draft by Baseball America…was ranked third by ESPN's Keith Law and fourth by MLB.com.
  • Went 8-1 with a 0.93 ERA (60.1-IP, 8-ER) and 104 SO as a senior and received Arizona Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year honors…named a first team Rawlings/Perfect Game All-American for this past season…helped lead Mountain Ridge to the Class 6A state championship game.
  • Last summer, he pitched 12 scoreless innings for USA Baseball's 18U National Team and recorded the win in their gold medal game over Korea.
  • Was selected higher than any other high school pitcher in franchise history…was the fourth high school pitcher selected by the Rays in the first round, joining Jason Standridge (No. 31) in 1997, Taylor Guerrieri (No. 24) in 2011 and Blake Snell (No. 52) in 2011.
  • Committed to play college baseball next season at the University of Arizona.


SHANE McCLANAHAN LEFT-HANDED PITCHER ROUND 1 - NO. 31 OVERALL
B/T L/L HT/WT 6-1/190 BORN. 4/28/1997 SCHOOL Univ. of South Florida

  • Ranked as the No. 8 overall player in this year's draft by Baseball America…was ranked 14th by MLB.com and 15th by ESPN's Keith Law.
  • Went 5-6 with a 3.42 ERA (76.1-IP, 29-ER) and 120 SO in 14 starts as a redshirt sophomore…his 120 SO ranked 4th for a single season in school history…tied for the conference lead in strikeouts and ranked 2nd in the country with a 14.2 SO/9 IP ratio.
  • Did not allow a run in his first 31.2 IP this season…it was the longest scoreless streak to start a season in program history.
  • Was part of the program's first combined no-hitter, coming on March 16 against Army…it was the program's first no-hitter of any kind since 2010…he went 6 IP and recorded a career-high 15 SO, and sophomore Carson Ragsdale pitched the final 3 IP.
  • Named to Golden Spikes Award preseason and midseason watch lists.
  • Became the second USF pitcher with at least 100 SO in consecutive seasons (104 SO in 2017).
  • Is the second player selected by the Rays from USF in the past two drafts, following Phoenix Sanders (10th round) in 2017.
  • Missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
  • Previously selected by the New York Mets in the 26th round of the 2015 June Draft.


NICK SCHNELL CENTER FIELDER ROUND 1 - NO. 32 OVERALL
B/T L/R HT/WT 6-3/180 BORN. 3/27/2000 SCHOOL Roncalli (Ind.) HS

  • Received Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year honors…hit .535 with 15 HR and 37 RBI in 31 games as a senior, helping Roncalli reach Class 4A regionals…hit .473 with 25 HR and 109 RBI over his high school career…set a school record for home runs hit in a career.
  • Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 1 player out of the state of Indiana…became the 14th player ever drafted in the first round out of an Indiana high school and fifth in the 2000s, joining Ashe Russell (2015), Nolan Watson (2015), Trey Ball (2013) and Jarrod Parker (2007).
  • Also played basketball in high school…became the first player ever selected out of Roncalli HS in Indiana.
  • Committed to play college baseball next season at the University of Louisville.


TYLER FRANK SHORTSTOP ROUND 2 - NO. 56 OVERALL
B/T R/R HT/WT 6-0/185 BORN. 1/15/1997 SCHOOL Florida Atlantic Univ.

  • Through the NCAA Regionals, is batting .307/.444/.563 (73-for-238) with 13 HR, 35 RBI and 68 runs…tied for the conference lead with 20 2B.
  • As a junior, was named third team All-American, first team All-Conference and Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Played last summer for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team…was the first FAU player since 2005 to earn an invitation to the tryout camp.
  • Went to American Heritage-Delray Beach High School, where he was teammates with Rays prospect Lucius Fox.
  • Is the 2nd-highest selection ever out of Florida Atlantic, behind former teammate C.J. Chatham (No. 51) in 2016.


TANNER DODSON CENTER FIELDER | RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER ROUND B - NO. 71 OVERALL
B/T S/R HT/WT 6-1/160 BORN. 5/9/1997 SCHOOL Univ. of California

  • Is one of three finalists for collegiate baseball's John Olerud Award, which is given to the nation's top two-way player…other finalists are Stetson's Brooks Wilson and Georgia's Aaron Schunk…Louisville's Brendan McKay won the John Olerud Award in each of the previous three seasons.
  • Hit .320 (73-for-228) with 12 2B, 1 HR, 27 RBI and 12 SB in 54 games (all starts) at the plate…went 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA (40-IP, 11-ER) in 19 relief apps…finished with 11 saves, 3rd-most in the Pac-12 and a single-season program record…made 1 error and finished with a .993 fielding pct.
  • Ranked as the No. 62 overall player in this year's draft by Baseball America…named second team All-American by Baseball America in 2018.
  • His father, Bo, was a 3rd-round selection of the Brewers in 1989 and played 10 seasons in the minor leagues.
  • Previously selected by the New York Mets in the 31st round of the 2015 June Draft.
Tampa Bay Rays