There may be only one person who was not even mildly surprised when eight Thundering Herd baseball players were drafted and another signed as a free agent immediately following the draft.
“Guys have worked hard to put themselves in this position. It’s something we’ve talked about since the day I went into their homes and signed them,” said a very proud Head Coach Jeff Waggoner.
Even more remarkable than the most draft picks in school history is just how far the baseball program has come since Jeff Waggoner took over the job in 2007. Prior to Waggoner’s arrival, Marshall had gone through a 12 year drought without a single player being selected. In the last five years under Waggoner, 22 players have gotten the opportunity to chase their dreams and play pro baseball.
Need some more perspective on how far this program has come?
Waggoner has the second most wins in school history with 120 in just five years as the head coach. A total of 31 records have been broken under Waggoner, including 16 team and 15 individual marks. Waggoner has also posted victories against 11 ranked opponents, including knocking off then No. 1 Rice in 2009.
He has shown he can recruit and recruit local talent that often overlooked Marshall as an option in the past. In years gone by, a guy such as Arik Sikula from Hurricane, would likely have not looked at Marshall figuring he would have a better shot at playing and advancing at another school.
Now, think about the recruiting pitch Waggoner can offer a player who is thinking about choosing to play ball at Marshall. He has proof he can develop Major League prospects, even if they were overlooked coming out of high school. They will play some of the best competition in the country and because of that are guaranteed to play in front of big league scouts.
“Kids are seen by some of the best cross-checkers in the country and playing against some of the best competition in the country,” said Waggoner.
The sky is the limit for the Thundering Herd baseball program, IF, one giant piece of the puzzle is put in place. If Waggoner and his team can actually get a home field, their own ballpark, on campus, the Marshall baseball program could reach heights that were considered impossible in the past.
In fact, it already has.