Fruit, Sullivan selected in 2023 MLB Draft

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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During this week’s Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, Troy Trojans William Sullivan and Zach Fruit were both selected.

Sullivan and Fruit were the first Trojans to be drafted by the MLB since 2021 and it was the first time that multiple Troy players have been selected in the same year since 2018. In Troy’s Baseball history, multiple Trojans have been selected in the same year 16 times. And at least one Trojan has been selected in 15 of the last 20 drafts, while there have been 26 total former Troy players selected since 2004.

Fruit was selected in the ninth round – 271st overall – by the Baltimore Oriels, while Sullivan was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round, 395th overall.

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Fruit, a 6-foot-4-inch right-handed pitcher, is a Dundee, Mich., native, that came to Troy this past season after starting his career at Eastern Michigan. Fruit held a 6-1 record as a starter in 2023 with five saves. He tallied 92 strikeouts during the season, averaging 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

“We are so excited for Zach to be picked in the ninth round by the Orioles,” Troy coach Skylar Meade said. “He pushed himself the past year and increased his value to professional baseball. We think he could be a fast-track guy in their organization if he can harness his off-speed pitches to go along with his fastball that was up to 99 MPH this spring.”

Fruit mowed down six batters during his five innings pitched during Troy’s NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional appearance, and struck out 11 batters during the Sun Belt Tournament.

Sullivan has been a standout, both offensively and defensively, during his Troy career. The 6-foot-4-inch, Orlando, Fla., first baseman, was a starter for Troy for the past four seasons. During his career he earned Freshman All-American honors in 2020 and is first all-time in hit by pitches, 10th in sacrifice flies, 12th in home runs and 10th in doubles.

“There is not a more deserving draft pick than William Sullivan,” Meade said. “He embodied what it is to be a Troy Trojan with his power and true toughness over his four years as a Trojan. We think the Cardinals landed one of the premier power hitters in the ’23 Draft. It will be fun to sit back and watch Sully’s journey in professional baseball begin.”

Sullivan earned a .289 batting average during his Troy career with 44 doubles, four triples, 26 home runs, 115 RBIs and 120 runs. Defensively, Sullivan has been one of the most consistent players in the Trojan infield, earning a .978 career fielding percentage with 1,041 put outs, 54 assists and 92 double plays. He had three times as many double plays as errors during his career.

Sullivan had a career year at the plate in 2023, earning a .310 batting average with 17 home runs, 15 doubles, three triples, 53 RBIs and 61 runs scored. He was just as good on defense, earning a .978 fielding percentage with 381 put outs, 20 assists and 40 double plays.