Jun 04, 2019
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Shortstop Simon Whiteman (Trumbull, Conn.), the captain of the Yale baseball team, was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the ninth pick in the ninth round (266th overall) of the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday. He was the first Ivy Leaguer taken.
For Yale head coach John Stuper — who has had 44 players sign professional contracts in his 27 seasons — Whiteman’s selection is the culmination of years of work.
“I said before the draft that Simon was a top 10 round kid,” said Stuper. “I also said this is what happens when you combine a ‘once in a coaching career’ work ethic with the best infield instructor in the country [Yale associate head coach Tucker Frawley]. Comes to Yale as a good player with one great tool (speed), works his tail off and becomes a ninth-round pick.”
This past season Whiteman led the Ivy League in stolen bases (34, without being caught), was second in the league in doubles (17), third in the league in runs (43) and fifth in the league in hits (63). His .337 batting average was second on the team, and his .388 on-base percentage and .465 slugging percentage were third. He committed only seven errors, posting a .966 fielding percentage.
Those numbers cap a remarkable career for Whiteman, who last month was named the winner of the Willliam Neely Mallory Award as the top senior male athlete at Yale. He is tied for second on Yale’s career hits list with 213. His 71 career steals place him third on Yale’s career steals list, and his 135 runs were four away from the Yale career record. He helped the Bulldogs win back-to-back Ivy League Championships (2017 and 2018) and earn a pair of wins in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
“No one ever deserved it more,” said Stuper of Whiteman.
A graduate of Fairfield Prep, Whiteman was in Trumbull College at Yale. A chemical engineering major, he is a two-time first team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and was a first team Academic All-American last year. This year’s Academic All-America team gets announced June 6. Whiteman also earned Yale’s DeLaney Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award last month as the senior male student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average.
The last time Yale had any players selected in the MLB draft was 2017, when Richard Slenker ’17 was picked in the 28th round by the Houston Astros and Harrison White ’17 was selected in the 31st round by the Miami Marlins. The Bulldogs have one alum playing Minor League Baseball right now — catcher Ryan Lavarnway ’09, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He now plays in the New York Yankees organization.
Report by Sam Rubin ’95 ([email protected]), Yale Sports Publicity