MACON, Ga. – Mercer baseball junior outfielder Billy Burns was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 32nd round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday afternoon.
Burns was the 967th overall pick in the draft and was the fourth Mercer player taken, which is tops among all A-Sun schools and sets a new program record for most players drafted in the same season.
This is the second time Burns has been drafted, as he was selected in the 16th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves directly out of high school.
“Very happy for Billy to get drafted once again and glad to see that his performance on the field this season was recognized,” head coach Craig Gibson said. “Billy had a great year for us on the field, as he is the one guy that really makes our offense go, but he also excelled off the field which is what makes him the ideal student-athlete here at Mercer.”
Burns joins fellow classmate Jacob Tanis (13th round – Oakland Athletics) and seniors Justice French (25th round – Cincinnati Reds) and Joe Winker (28th round – Los Angeles Dodgers) as the other Mercer baseball 2011 draftees.
The Marietta, Ga. native just finished a magical junior season in which he established himself as one of the best lead-off hitters in the country. Burns hit .357 this season while pacing the Atlantic Sun Conference with 72 run scored and 29 stolen bases. He also led the team with a .473 on-base percentage while ranking second on the club with 80 hits.