ATHENS-----Georgia pitcher Robert Tyler became the 10th Bulldog in school history to be a first round selection when the Colorado Rockies drafted him Thursday with the 38th overall pick of the 2016 MLB Draft.
A 6-4, 226-pound right-hander from Cordele, Ga., Tyler went 3-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 14 starts for the Bulldogs in 2016, registering 89 strikeouts in 74.2 innings. He ranked third in the Southeastern Conference in holding opponents to a .200 batting average. He earned Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors after tossing a one-hitter in beating No. 21 Alabama 7-1 on April 1. He carried a no-hitter for 8.2 innings against Alabama until allowing a pinch-hit solo home run. In that start against the Crimson Tide, he had a perfect game through 6.1 innings. He got a no decision against No. 2 Florida when he limited the Gators to one run through 8.1 innings with nine strikeouts in Gainesville. In his career, Tyler is 10-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 179 innings.
Tyler went in the “Lottery Round A” that is at the end of the first round. Before Tyler, the last Bulldog pitcher to be selected in the first round was right-hander Josh Fields in 2008, 20th overall to Seattle. Currently, Fields pitches in the Houston Astros organization. Tyler was a strong Bulldog commitment out of Crisp County High School in 2013 when the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the 28th round. Three years later, he adds his name to the list of Bulldog first round selections. Prior to Tyler, Georgia’s last first round selection was outfielder Zach Cone in 2011, 37th overall by Texas.
Annually, the Bulldogs have a handful of players and signees who will have a decision to make regarding their baseball future. Georgia has a string of 43 straight seasons with a least one player signing a professional contract. In 2015, seven Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.
The first two rounds of the draft are being televised live on MLB Network Thursday. Day two of the draft starts at 1 p.m. on Friday and will cover rounds three-10. Saturday marks the final day of the draft, and it will begin at noon and will include rounds 11-40. All the selections can be followed on MLB.com.
The signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in the 2016 First-Year Player draft is July 15.