MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University junior left fielder Kyle Davis was drafted by the Houston Astros and senior first baseman Jackson Cramer was drafted by the Washington Nationals on the final day of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft.
A Cincinnati native, Davis was selected by the Astros in the 15th round with the 451st overall pick. Cramer, from Coppell, Texas, was drafted by the Nationals in the 35th round with the 1,063rd pick.
WVU has had 16 draft selections in coach Randy Mazey’s five seasons, the most draft picks in a five-year stretch in team history. At least two West Virginia players have been drafted in each of Mazey’s five seasons. With Davis’ and Cramer’s picks, there have been 86 Mountaineer draft selections since the first draft was held in 1965.
“I am super excited for both Kyle and Jackson,” Mazey said. “They both have worked really hard both on the field and off, and are very deserving. Kyle and Jackson are great Mountaineers, and it’s a tremendous day to see their names called.”
Davis is the fifth Mountaineer ever picked by the Astros. He is the second in as many years, after Chad Donato was drafted in 2016, and the third since 2014, when Houston picked Bobby Boyd.
“I would like to thank the Houston Astros for this amazing opportunity, and to the West Virginia University baseball staff for the chance to play college baseball” Davis said. “I have met amazing people along the way that have guided me tirelessly. I could not be more humbled at this time and have formed bonds with amazing teammates that will last forever. God is good!”
Cramer is the second WVU player drafted by the Nationals since they moved to Washington D.C. He joins Blake Smith, who was drafted in 2015 in the 24th round, but did not sign.
“I am excited to start my professional career with the Nationals,” Cramer said. “I have been working towards this since I started playing, and it is extremely rewarding to have this opportunity. I want to thank all of my teammates over the years, my coaches and Mountaineer nation. I’m sad to leave Morgantown, but ready for the next chapter.”
An All-Big 12 Second Team and Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree as a junior in 2017, Davis was a five-time Freshman All-American in 2015. While starting 62 games in left field as a junior, Davis was second on the team with 74 hits and 10 home runs and third with a .316 batting average and 44 RBIs. His .526 slugging percentage and 35 walks led the team, and his .405 on-base percentage was second.
Along with getting drafted, Davis was also named to the 2017 ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region First Team on Wednesday, an honor he also received in 2015.
Cramer concluded his WVU career with a strong senior season. He was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team in 2017 and is a three-time All-Big 12 Team honoree in addition to earning Academic All-Big 12 Team accolades every year as a Mountaineer. A Senior CLASS Award Finalist, Cramer led the team with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs as a senior. He had 63 hits with a .270 batting average and a .472 slugging percentage. Walked 34 times and also led the team with 14 doubles.
Underclassmen have until July 15 to decide whether they wish to pursue professional careers or return to WVU.