June 5, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Navy senior outfielder Alex Azor and sophomore starting pitcher Preston Gainey were both selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday. Azor was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round (No. 325 overall), while Gainey was taken in the 11th round (No. 365 overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers. It marks the first time since 2008 that Navy has had two players taken in the MLB Draft when Mitch Harris (13th round, St. Louis) and Oliver Drake (43rd round, Baltimore) were both selected.
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"We are thrilled for both Alex and Preston and the program takes great pride in their achievement of being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos.
Azor's 10th-round selection is the highest a player from the Naval Academy has ever been taken in the MLB Draft. This past season he led Navy with a .322 batting average and was voted to the All-Patriot League first team for the second time in his career. In conference play, the center fielder led the league with 28 hits and his .364 batting average was third best. After missing 11 games due to injury, he returned on March 14 and went on to reach base safely in a team-high 27 consecutive games. His 49 hits ranked second on the team.
The native of Miami, Fla., ended his Navy career with a total of 209 hits, which is the fifth most of any player in program history. His 173 games played and 160 starts rank eighth and ninth, respectively, in team history.
As a sophomore, Azor started all but three games and ranked second on the team with a .362 batting average en route to earning All-Patriot League accolades. He led the team in batting average in both his junior and senior seasons and ended his four years at Navy with a .330-career batting average.
In his first year as a starting pitcher, Gainey went 3-3 with a 3.25 ERA and earned All-Patriot League second team honors. Gainey proved to be one of the Mids' best pitchers in conference games with all three of his victories coming in Patriot League play. The right-hander held opponents to a .216 batting average and posted a 2.30 ERA in five conference starts, earning wins over Bucknell, Holy Cross and Lafayette.
Gainey, who hails from Pompano Beach, Fla., allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of his 10 starts and two or fewer runs in four of his five conference starts.
As a freshman, Gainey was one of the team's top relievers out of the bullpen. In 14 appearances - all of which came in relief - he went 2-0 and picked up four saves.