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Day two of MLB Draft sees three more Zags selected

Gabriel Hughes, Tystan Vrieling and William Kempner were taken in the first three rounds. Brody Jessee was taken in the tenth round.

SPOKANE, Wash. — On Sunday, Gabriel Hughes made history with the Colorado Rockies,  as the team selected the right-handed pitcher with the 10th pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

It was the highest any Zag had ever been selected.

Hughes was widely regarded as a day one draft choice, but was projected in the late 1st round to early 2nd round. But, clearly the Rockies fell in love with Hughes, who cemented himself as a top major league prospect, hurling 98 innings for the Bulldogs with a 3.21 ERA and was 9th in the country with 138 strikeouts.

Hughes surpassed Marco Gonzales, who was taken with the 19th overall pick in the 2013 draft, to become the Bulldogs' highest pick in history. 

"I've looked up to him over the past three years. He's been an incredible resource for me," said Hughes on surpassing Gonzales. "I'm just more excited for the future now because I won't be the last. I won't be the last guy taken in the first round from Gonzaga and I'm excited to see the next guy that comes along and the next guy after him because the program's on the rise." 

Hughes was the first, but he wasn't anywhere near the last. 

Today was day two of the draft and three of Hughes' teammates joined him in hearing their names announced.

The first was pitcher Trystan Vrieling. Vrieling was taken by the New York Yankees in the third round with the 100th overall pick.

Vrieling was ace 1B for a majority of this past season for the Bulldogs. He hurled 80.2 innings with a 4.91 ERA and finished 39th in the country with 107 strikeouts. The 4.91 ERA is a bit bloated due to three consecutive rough outings to close the season.

For Vrieling, being taken by the Yankees, one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, feels surreal.

"It's a dream come true! I mean, the stigma behind being a Yankee is you're a hard-nosed player and you're a clean-cut dude and there's a lot of expectations behind being a Yankee and there's a lot of expectations for the organization," said Vrieling. "For them to have my name called is awesome. It was a blessing and I'm completely grateful to them." 

Shortly after Vrieling was pitcher William Kempner. Just six picks later, Kempner was also taken in the 3rd round by the San Francisco Giants with pick 106.

Kempner was hurt for a majority of the season. But, when healthy, he was dominant with a 3.00 ERA. He played a big role late in the season, helping the Zags clinch a WCC regular season title.

Kempner is a San Jose native, so he grew up rooting for the team that drafted him.

"I've been a Giants fan my whole life. My parents are very happy for this moment! My whole family's been Giants fans since I started played baseball," said Kempner. "It's a dream come true. It's cliché to say, but it's true."

The final Zag taken on day two of the draft was sophomore pitcher Brody Jessee who was taken in the 10th round by the Cincinnati Reds with pick number 303.

Unlike the other three arms taken in the draft, Jessee was used primarily out of the bullpen. He had a 4.58 ERA in 35.1 innings pitched and struck out 48.

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