TORONTO – Case Western Reserve University junior pitcher Rob Winemiller (Twinsburg, Ohio/University School) has been selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 25th round (744th overall) of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft.
Winemiller is only the second player in team history to be selected in the MLB Draft. Third baseman Eric Macha went in the 33rd round to the Oakland Athletics in 2003. Counting Winemiller and Macha, only a handful of student-athletes in school history have been selected in a professional sports draft, counting those from CWRU, Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University.
Winemiller was named the top Division III draft prospect in the nation this past fall by perfectgame.org. That ranking came on the heels of his performance during summer ball with the Geneva Redwings of the New York Collegiate Baseball League.
The 2014 season was Winemiller's first as a collegiate pitcher. Out of the bullpen, he went 1-0 with a save, a 4.05 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20 innings of work.
Perfect Game (September, 2013)
An obscure talent from Ohio's Case Western Reserve University, Winemiller logged just eight innings on the mound for the Redwings this summer, but made almost every one of them count. After surrendering three runs in his first outing on June 15, he was unscored upon in his remaining nine appearances. With the exception of four brief relief appearances as a freshman at Case Western Reserve, an NCAA Division III school, Winemiller was almost exclusively a catcher in his first two seasons there, and was signed by Geneva to essentially handle that role, though ended up getting just 24 at-bats. This summer marked the first time he committed himself to pitching, and the results were rather impressive. Not only did Winemiller post a 1.12 ERA with three saves in his 10 appearances, but out of the righthander's loose, live arm came a steady 94-mph fastball and developing slider. He also showed the aptitude to locate his stuff, prompting scouts in attendance at the NYCBL All-Star Game to encourage him to leave catching behind and move to the mound full-time.
Plain Dealer (March, 2014)
One inning transforms Case Western Reserve pitcher Rob Winemiller into startling pro prospect
MLB.com (April, 2014)
Draft prospect ascension a whirlwind for Winemiller