Two Bobcats Picked in 2017 MLB Draft

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Dylan Fearon

Robbie Hitt and Matt Batten were playing division I collegiate baseball for Quinnipiac less than a month ago.

Now, they’re professionals.

Both were selected in this week’s Major League Baseball draft. A total of 40 rounds, 1205 picks, and two Bobcats onto the next level.

With their pick in the 24th round (714 overall), the Milwaukee Brewers selected Quinnipiac’s Robbie Hitt. Hitt, a right-handed pitcher, finished his junior season with a 2-5 record and 5.37 ERA.

Shortly thereafter, in the 32nd round (948 overall) the San Diego Padres selected Matt Batten. Batten graduated last month as the Bobcats’ program leader in hits and stolen bases.

“I actually got a text from someone that told me congrats and I hadn’t even seen anything yet and then I ran into my kitchen where my mom was on her computer following the draft,” Batten said. “We were like ‘it’s not loading, it’s not loading’ and then it finally loaded and it read ‘Matthew Batten to the Padres’. I can’t stop smiling…I still can’t stop smiling.”

Hitt is the third Bobcats’ player the Brewers have drafted in the last 10 years.

Last year, Milwaukee took pitcher Thomas Jankins in the 13th round. In 2008, the Brewers drafted Quinnipiac’s current head coach and former shortstop, John Delaney.

But for Batten, he is glad this part of the process is out of the way. Now he can focus on hitting balls and fielding grounders.

“My dream became a reality,” Batten said. “I know I’m not done yet. I know I’m not where I want to be. But it’s definitely a start to the next level so I was really happy that it’s over with so I can just get back to playing baseball. I miss playing games and being part of a team.”

Hitt, should he forgo his senior year at Quinnipiac, would be off to Montana to play Rookie ball with the Helena Brewers. Helena is the same team Jankins joined after Milwaukee.

Batten heads to Peoria, Arizona to play for the Arizona League Padres. He’s flying out Sunday to join his new team.

“I’ll play for anyone, anywhere,” Batten said. “I just want to play professional baseball, which is finally a reality, so it’s very cool.”

Hitt and Batten are the 22nd and 23rd Quinnipiac players drafted in the last 50 years. Yet there have been 11 Bobcats drafted in the last 13 seasons.

For Batten, that speaks to how well Quinnipiac’s coaches have developed players over the years.

“There’s nothing better than this,” Batten said. “What I’ve had at Quinnipiac is unbelievable. They took a chance on me, they developed me and they stuck with me even when I was struggling my freshman year when I wasn’t hitting. I owe everything to them.”

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