JONESBORO, Ark. (7/12/21) – After a season in which he was one of the top hitters in the Sun Belt Conference, Arkansas State junior catcher Liam Hicks was selected in the ninth round by the (Texas) in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft Monday afternoon.
Hicks becomes the 17th player drafted since head coach Tommy Raffo took over the program prior to the 2009 season. He is the 45th player in program history drafted and the first since Kyle MacDonald in 2019. Additionally, Hicks is the fifth player under Raffo picked in the first 10 rounds and the third since 2017 (Tyler Zuber – 6th round, Peyton Culbertson – 8th Round).
“We are so excited for Liam being selected by the Rangers in the Major League Baseball Draft,” Raffo said. “It’s not only a huge honor, but it is a well-earned one. Liam has worked very hard to get to this point and has a great opportunity to keep proving himself at a very high level in professional baseball.”
The Toronto, Ontario, Canada, native finished the season third in the league in hitting (.344) while leading the Sun Belt in on-base percentage (.464). He also ranked fifth in slugging (.548) and was consistently one of the toughest hitters in the league to strike out, striking out 18 times while drawing 28 walks in 2021. Hicks also earned a spot on the Buster Posey National Catcher of the Year Award Watch List.
— Arkansas State Red Wolves Baseball (@AStateBaseball) July 12, 2021
In Hicks’ two seasons at Arkansas State, he hit .340 in 57 games, reaching base in 55 of those contests. He reached base at a .482 clip and totaled 11 homers (7 in 2021), 14 doubles and 40 RBIs (30 in 2021).
“A huge shout-out goes to assistant coach Rick Guarno helping Liam improve defensively behind the plate and putting him over the top as a complete player to go along with his outstanding hitting ability,” Raffo added.
Hicks is the first A-State player drafted by the Rangers since Chris Unrat in the 15th round of the 1993 draft. He is also the first Red Wolves catcher since Stuart Levy (2015 – 27th round, Baltimore) to be drafted.
— Rangers Player Development (@TEXPlayerDev) July 12, 2021
For the latest on A-State Baseball, follow the team by liking Arkansas State Baseball on Facebook, as well as following the team on Twitter (@AStateBaseball) and Instagram (astatebaseball).
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2021/7/12/baseball-hicks-drafted-by-rangers-in-ninth-round-of-2021-mlb-draft.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council