June 14, 2017
By Michael Scholl
SECAUCUS, New Jersey — Three more University of Notre Dame baseball players were taken in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, running the total number of selections this year to six, matching the most in program history.
Right-hander Brandon Bielak was selected in the 11th round by the Houston Astros. Fellow RHP Evy Ruibal was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 16th round and catcher Ryan Lidge was a 20th round selection of the New York Yankees.
They join a trio of players taken the first two days of the draft in RHP Peter Solomon (fourth round by Astros), southpaw Sean Guenther (seventh round by Marlins) and righty Brad Bass (seventh round by Tigers).
With six selections in the 2017 draft, that matches the most selections in a single draft in Notre Dame baseball history. The 2008 draft saw Brett Lilley, Sam Elam, Brett Graffy, Wade Korpi, David Phelps and Kyle Weiland all get selected. In 2001, Steve Stanley, Paul O’Toole, Brian Stavisky, Alec Porzel, Aaron Heilman and Danny Tamayo were all drafted.
Bielak boasts career ERA of 3.85 over his three-year career and an 11-11 record in 47 appearances with 32 starts. He made 14 starts as a freshman in 2015, going 6-3 with an ERA of 3.55 and earning ACC All-Freshman honors. He predominantly came out of the bullpen in 206, holding opponents to a .214 batting average while recording an ERA of 2.10. This season, he made 14 starts while striking out 75 batters in 73.0 innings.
Ruibal has made 40 appearances during his time at Notre Dame, 38 of those out of the bullpen. He’s recorded 40 strikeouts in 59.1 innings pitched with a career ERA of 4.70.
Lidge has been a mainstay behind the plate the last four seasons, starting 180 games in his four-year career. He has caught 32.6% of would-be base stealers and has a career fielding percentage of .990 while conceding just 25 passed balls the past four seasons. At the plate, Lidge is a career .239 hitter with 92 RBI and 36 doubles. Lidge has twice been named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List and in 2015 was named the top defensive catcher in the Northwoods League.
This runs the total number of draft picks during Mik Aoki’s tenure at Notre Dame to 21 and 50 during his coaching career. In Irish history, 115 players have now been taken in the MLB Draft since the inaugural process in 1965, including at least one every year dating back to 1985.
All three selections on Wednesday improved on draft status during their time at Notre Dame. Bielak and Ruibal were both undrafted out of high school, while Lidge was a 40th round pick of the Red Sox before enrolling at Notre Dame and went undrafted after his junior season.
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Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media in August 2016, coordinating communications for the baseball program and assisting with the football team at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.