Katy area lands five on MLB draft board

June 18, 2017

Katy ISD and St. John XXIII College Preparatory were represented during the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft, led by second-day selections Lamar Sparks and Dane Myers.

Sparks, a Seven Lakes outfielder, was selected in the fifth round with the 158th overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles. He was the only KISD 2017 graduate selected and extended Seven Lakes’ streak of MLB draftees to five years. Jon Duplantier (from Rice) and Conner Capel were selected in the first five rounds last year.

Myers was a standout at Taylor before three productive years at Rice. He was drafted in the sixth round with the 185th pick by the Detroit Tigers, listed as a pitcher after a junior season that featured a 3.98 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings.

A two-position contributor with the Owls, Myers had his best year at the plate with a team-high eight home runs, five triples and 13 steals to go with 51 runs and 43 RBI in 246 at-bats. He batted .358 with a .425 on-base percentage and slugged .545, earning second-team all-Conference USA honors.

Myers helped the Owls capture the conference tournament championship and two wins at the Baton Rouge Regional, where the former Mustang hit .333 with two home runs and five RBI while working 3 2/3 innings to earn the save against Southeast Louisiana.

Katy High School had two alumni drafted as Lamar University junior pitcher Carson Lance and McLennan College outfielder Cole Haring were selected. The Detroit Tigers picked Lance in the 16th round, while Haring went in the 37th round to the Baltimore Orioles.

Lance joined the Cardinals from Angelina College, where he was the Region 14 East Pitcher of the Year. He compiled a 7-7 record and 4.17 ERA in 90 2/3 innings at Lamar, striking out 85 and allowing only 77 hits.

Among Lance’s 15 appearances was a complete game with 11 strikeouts against conference foe A&M-Corpus Christi. He also struck out seven in four innings against Illinois and limited Nicholls to one earned run in eight innings in Southland play. Lamar finished 33-25 overall.

Haring batted .363 with a .458 on-base percentage and .615 slugging percentage, hitting eight home runs and scoring 51 runs in 182 at-bats. The former Tiger added 16 steals without being caught to help McLennan to a 52-13 record and a place in the NJCAA World Series. He is committed to play at Baylor.

St. John XXIII alumnus Gabe Klobosits was drafted in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals after helping Auburn finish 37-26 including two wins at the Tallahassee Regional. The right-hander posted a 5.18 ERA in 17 games, striking out 20 in 33 innings.

Klobosits notched a 15-2 record and a 1.90 ERA in two years at Galveston College before transferring to Auburn. He worked a team-high 21 games for the Tigers as a junior, striking out 44 with a 4.70 ERA in 44 innings.


TCU was among the eight still playing as the NCAA postseason progressed to the College World Series, with two recent KISD graduates on the roster in freshmen Trey Morris (Taylor) and Bryan Sturges (Seven Lakes). Morris pitched in 27 2/3 innings for the 47-16 Horned Frogs, striking out 23 with a 5.86 ERA and a 2-0 record.

One of the best single-game NCAA regional performances belonged to Oral Roberts senior outfielder Michael Hungate (Cinco Ranch), who was 4 for 4 with a home run and five RBI in a 14-6 elimination victory against Oklahoma State in the Fayetteville Regional.

Hungate, who played two years at Cisco Junior College, had his best Division I season with a .302 average, .455 slugging percentage, 40 runs, 31 RBI and five home runs in 222 at-bats. The former Cougar also stole a team-high 15 bases in 16 attempts for a Golden Eagles team that finished 43-16 including the Summit League tournament championship.

Seven Lakes had four graduates on regional rosters, including Texas sophomore pitcher Beau O’Hara, Oklahoma State freshman pitcher C.J. Varela and Yale junior pitcher Mason Kukowski.

Kukowski worked 33 1/3 innings for a Bulldogs squad that set the school record for wins during a 34-18 season. The right-hander had a 5.94 ERA, 22 strikeouts and two saves in 15 games. He pitched eight innings of two-hit shutout ball in a 4-0 victory against Holy Cross.

O’Hara posted a 7.11 ERA in 6 1/3 innings but made a scoreless debut at Rice in a 5-4 Longhorns victory. Varela started four of his 13 games as an NCAA rookie, compiling two wins, a save, a 5.11 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He had nine scoreless outings including five in a victory against Wichita State and started the Cowboys’ victory against Texas in the Big 12 championship game.