Home George Mason baseball’s Willis, Kalish drafted by Kansas City Royals

George Mason baseball’s Willis, Kalish drafted by Kansas City Royals


george-mason2Senior Luke Willis and redshirt senior Jake Kalish were each selected by the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, the third day of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft.

“We are incredibly excited for both Luke and Jake,” commented head coach Bill Brown. “It is really exciting, knowing that they have put so much into their careers, to see them have the opportunity to live a childhood dream.”

Willis was selected in the 30th round, 909th overall in the 2015 draft by the Royals and was joined just two rounds and sixty picks later by his teammate Kalish (32nd, 969). They become the 42nd and 43rd Patriots to be drafted, Mason’s first draft picks since 2012 when Chris O’Grady was taken in the 10th round by the Los Angeles Angels and Brandon Kuter was selected in the 29th round by the Texas Rangers.

Willis joined Mason prior to the 2014 season from Coastal Carolina and enjoyed two successful seasons with the Patriots, starting every game while batting .327 with 87 runs scored and 146 total hits, including 27 doubles, five triples and six homeruns to go along with 63 RBI and 43 walks. His 50 stolen bases in two seasons are the fifth most in the program career record book. His 26-game hit streak this season ended one short of tying the longest streak in Mason baseball history.

The Annandale, Va. native, along with Kalish, helped lead the Patriots to the 2014 Atlantic 10 Conference championship where he was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and a member of the All-Tournament team after the teams’ four wins in four days. This past season Willis earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors and was named to the ABCA/Rawlings East All-Region Second Team hours prior to being drafted.

Kalish also worked his way into the Mason record books after spending five years at Mason. He ended his career at Mason with 228 innings pitched and a 3.32 ERA, striking out 197 batters and walking only 57. Working as a starter and in relief he exits with a 14-12 career record to go along with nine saves, the sixth most as a Patriot. He finishes his career as a top-10 all-time pitcher in multiple categories, including appearances, strikeouts, opponent batting average, strikeout-to-walk ratio and ERA.



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