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Diamondbacks select Marshall pitcher Blair

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marshall pitcher Aaron Blair was selected with the 36th overall pick in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday.

That's the highest a Marshall player has been selected in the history of the draft.

Blair, a right-hander, was projected to go late in the first round to early in the second round, and he fell in the middle of those when the Diamondbacks used the third pick of Competitive Balance Round A (which falls between the first and second rounds) to draft the Herd ace.

Phone calls to Blair and Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner were not returned late Thursday.

The previous high for a Marshall product in the MLB Draft occurred in 1971 when former Independence High coach Joe Goddard was taken by the San Diego Padres with the third pick of the eighth round.

Blair also becomes the second player with local ties selected by Arizona in recent years. The Diamondbacks took Nitro High standout J.R. Bradley in the second round of the 2010 draft. Bradley is currently with Arizona's Low-A affiliate in South Bend, Ind., where he has a 2-3 record and 5.62 earned run average in 16 appearances (one start) with 22 strikeouts and 15 walks.

The likely landing spot for Blair is with the Diamondbacks' Rookie League team, the Missoula (Mont.) Osprey, where another former Nitro athlete, J.R. House, was the hitting coach in 2012.

The Houston Astros selected Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.


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