Junior left-handed pitcher Nathan Dorris was taken in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago Cubs Wednesday with the 524th overall pick.
Dorris was 7-4 with a 4.17 ERA in 16 appearances this season, 14 of them starts. He began the season as the Sunday starter, but fell out of the weekend rotation April 1 after a string of poor outings.
Dorris was in his first year with SIU after spending the previous two seasons at Rend Lake Community College. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 45th round out of Marion High School in 2009, but signed a letter of intent to play for Vanderbilt instead.
He spent one semester at Vanderbilt before leaving because of injuries. He said May 7 that the coaches there wanted to redshirt him for his freshman year, but he felt like he could pitch despite the injuries.
Coach Ken Henderson said May 29 that Dorris’ curveball was a big-league pitch, and that he wouldn’t be surprised if a team drafted him.
Dorris is the third Saluki taken in the 2012 MLB Draft. Junior first baseman Chris Serritella was taken in the fourth round Tuesday by the Philadelphia Phillies and incoming freshman first baseman Zach Stoner was picked by the Chicago White Sox in the 12th round.
Dorris has one year of eligibility left with SIU, and Henderson said that if he was drafted high enough, he’ll most likely sign. Dorris has until July 13 at 4 p.m. to sign with the Cubs.