Cheray, Schumacher Selected on Final Day of 2014 MLB Draft
June 7, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State baseball standouts Eric Cheray and Cody Schumacher were chosen on the third and final day of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, as the Oakland Athletics selected Cheray in the 17th round with the 522nd overall pick before the St. Louis Cardinals picked Schumacher in the 36th round (1095th overall) of the 40-round amateur draft Saturday afternoon.
With the selections of the two Topeka, Kan., products, Missouri State extended an impressive string of talent production that has resulted in at least one Bear being picked in 28 of the last 29 MLB Drafts dating back to 1986. Overall, the Bears have produced 128 players who have gone on to sign professional contracts over their 51 years as a varsity program, including 108 during Keith Guttin's 32-year tenure as head coach.
A two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference choice as a Bear, Cheray was one of Missouri State's most consistent performers at the plate and in the field over the last two seasons. Cheray, who was a utility honorable mention All-MVC selection this season, anchored the Bears' infield as one of the top defensive second baseman in the MVC, posting a .983 fielding percentage and a team-best 28 double-play turns. The junior has logged time behind the plate for the Bears as well, handling all 83 chances flawlessly while throwing out two of three would-be base-stealer in his 13 games as MSU's backstop.
Currently sitting in third on the Bears' career walks list (104), Cheray's 40 bases on balls this season led MSU for the second year in a row and ranked sixth in the MVC, while his 24 career sacrifice bunts is the third-best all-time total at MSU. Cheray is one of only two Bears in the history of the program to draw at least 40 free passes in consecutive seasons. A 2013 First-Team All-MVC and MVC Scholar-Athlete selection, Cheray was one of four Bears to earn Captial One CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this spring. His 146 defensive assists ranked fourth in the Valley, while finishing second on the squad in hitting (.290), hits (61), runs scored (37), home runs (3), RBIs (32) and total bases (84).
After a shoulder injury ended his 2013 season prematurely, Schumacher capped his three-year MSU career with a dominant 2014 season as the Bears' regular Friday starter. The right-hander led the Bears in mound victories, logging a 6-2 mark for the season to go along with a 2.45 earned run average that not only paced the MSU staff, but ranked seventh overall in the Valley. Schumacher limited the opposition to a .210 batting average--the fourth-lowest in the circuit--and his six wins tied for ninth among all MVC pitchers.
Schumacher opened the season with four wins in his first four appearances, including 17 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. He earned MSU's Dave Dickensheet Award as the Bears' most outstanding pitcher, becoming the first senior to claim the honor in eight years, finishing his career with a 15-4 overall record to rank seventh on the Bears' all-time winning percentage list (.789). Additionally, Schumacher's 3.05 career ERA ranks as the 10th-best figure in the history of the MSU program.
Under the terms of Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, professional clubs must sign a drafted player by July 18, or the rights to that player are lost and he may re-enter the draft in 2015.