Baseball: Yahn among four Huskies taken in MLB Draft

Willy Yahn fields a ground ball during a game against Memphis on April 8 at J.O. Christian Field. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Willy Yahn fields a ground ball during a game against Memphis on April 8 at J.O. Christian Field. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

UConn junior third baseman Willy Yahn was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 25th round of this week’s MLB Draft.

After missing the first nine games this season with a broken hand, Yahn played in 48 games in his junior year, racking up 60 hits with a team-leading .317 batting average and earning second team All-Conference honors. Yahn is batting .325 over his three year career in Storrs.

Yahn’s 207 career hits and 38 doubles through three seasons rank in the top 20 in UConn history. The junior has one year of eligibility left should he decide to stay in school.

Pitchers Wills Montgomerie and John Russell joined Yahn as UConn juniors to be selected this week. Montgomerie was taken in the sixth round (190th overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Russell was selected in the 16th round by the San Francisco Giants. Both Montgomerie and Russell were also named second team All-Conference for their performances this season.

Montgomerie led the American Athletic Conference in strikeouts this year with 116, ranking third in UConn single-season history. The right-hander went 6-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 89.1 innings pitched this season.

Montgomerie has the most money on the table of the three Husky juniors drafted. According to MLB.com, the 190th overall pick is assigned a value of $231,900, perhaps providing enough incentive to forgo his senior year in Storrs and sign with the Dodgers’ organization.

Russell had a breakout year as the closer for the Huskies. It’s the second consecutive year that the Giants have drafted a UConn closer, selecting Patrick Ruotolo in last year’s draft. Russell broke the UConn single-season saves record with 14 saves on the year. The junior struck out 66 batters in 38 innings and recorded a 2.84 ERA.

The lone UConn senior selected was Doug Domnarski, taken by the Miami Marlins in the 27th round. After transferring to Storrs from UConn Avery Point, Domnarski appeared in 41 games over two seasons. This year, the left-hander pitched 19.2 innings including two starts and struck out 17 batters. Domnarski led the Huskies last year with 29 appearances as he recorded a 3.00 ERA.

The four Huskies selected bring the total to 43 UConn players drafted in the Jim Penders era. It is the second consecutive draft in which four Huskies were selected.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.