June 8, 2013

Justin Viele Drafted by Baltimore Orioles - Updated with Quotes

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Four-year Santa Clara starting shortstop Justin Viele will get a chance to continue playing baseball as he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the 1,119th overall pick in the 37th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. He joins former teammate Lucas Herbst who was drafted by Baltimore in 2012 in the 26th round.

"This is one of the best feelings in the world," said Viele. "I talked to an Orioles scout last week so I knew they had some interest in me. I'm so fired up."

"I'm excited for Justin and proud of him for the work he put in to earn this opportunity," said Bronco head coach Dan O'Brien. "He's everything you can ask for in a ballplayer. He's a fierce competitor, a tireless worker, a loyal teammate and a flat-out winner. Ballplayers like Justin deserve to play this timeless game forever."

Viele was one of two Broncos to start all 53 games in 2013. He finished his career with 158 consecutive starts, dating back to his freshman year. Viele batted .248 (52-210) but led the team in walks (28) and hit-by-pitch (11) to put his OBP at .364. Viele also paced the team with 32 runs scored and added nine doubles, three triples, two home runs, 17 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts, all while providing sparkling defense at one of the most demanding positions on the field, shortstop.

This year marks the fourth year in a row that Santa Clara has had at least one player drafted into the Major Leagues. In 2011 J.R. Graham was taken in the fourth round, 146th overall, by the Atlanta Braves. It was the program's highest draft pick since Randy Winn was selected 65th overall in 1995. In 2010 Alex Rivers, Nate Garcia, Geoff Klein and Tommy Medica were all chosen.

Former Bronco Daniel Nava was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League in January 2008 and made his major league debut on June 12, 2010. Nava famously hit the first big league pitch he saw for a grand slam at Fenway Park. This year Nava is having great success with the Red Sox, hitting .305/.403/.484 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with eight home runs and 39 RBI in 56 games.