BURLINGTON, VT --- Six players selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 2017 Major League Draft will be joining Vermont this weekend during the Lake Monsters three-game series at Tri-City. The six players include the 33rd overall pick Kevin Merrell from the University of South Florida and fourth-round selection Will Toffey from the University of Vanderbilt.
Merrell was Oakland's pick in the Competitive Balance portion of the draft between the first and second rounds. A two-time first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection and 2017 Baseball America second-team All-American, Merrell hit .384 (83-for-216) with 48 runs, 11 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 38 RBI and 19 steals in 52 games for South Florida.
Toffey hit .354 (73-for-206) with 55 runs, 13 doubles, 12 homers and 64 RBI in 56 games for a 2017 Vanderbilt team that reached the NCAA SuperRegionals. During the previous NCAA Clemson Regional, Toffey was named MVP after going 9-for-19 with three home runs and 10 RBI.
Merrell and Toffey are two of four infielders joining the Lake Monsters, along with 11th-round pick Ryan Gridley (Misssissippi State) and 12th-rounder Aaron Arruda (Fresno State). The other two draft picks headed to Vermont are outfielders: 10th-rounder Jack Meggs (Washington) and 16th-round pick Payton Squier (UNLV).
Gridley was the 2017 first-team All-SEC shortstop after hitting .327 (88-for-269) with 50 runs, 15 doubles, six homers and 39 RBI in 67 games for MSU. Arruda. a two-time first-team All-Mountain West pick, hit .373 (91-for-244) with 57 runs, 17 doubles, 15 homers and 67 RBI in 60 games for Fresno.
Meggs, who played for his father at the University of Washington, was a 2017 honorable mention All-Pac 12 pick after hitting .265 (53-for-200) with 40 runs, 15 doubles, three homers and 18 RBI in 52 games for the Huskies. Squier, who hit .329 (73-for-222) with 35 runs, nine doubles, three homers and 33 RBI in 56 games for UNLV this spring, was a first-team All-Mountain West selection.
Seth Martinez, who started the home opener last Wednesday for the Lake Monsters, has returned to the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League.
The six draftees will be with Vermont for the three-game series at Tri-City before making their home debuts when the Lake Monsters return Wednesday, June 28th to historic Centennial Field for a five-game homestand against Staten Island and Lowell through Sunday, July 2nd.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.