Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) became Valparaiso University’s highest selection ever in Major League Baseball’s Draft after he was picked in the sixth round, number 203 overall by the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
“This is a true blessing,” Gaedele said. “I’m one of the 1,500 people in the world lucky enough to get this chance. Lots of people aren’t given this opportunity and I am truly fortunate.”
An outfielder, Gaedele batted .326 over his three-year career with the Crusaders, hitting 17 home runs and driving home 121 runs. His RBI total ranks seventh in school history. A junior this past season, Gaedele also has tallied 48 doubles and 12 triples, ranking fifth and third respectively on Valpo’s career list. The 86 walks he has drawn also rank fifth in Crusader laurels.
Gaedele also ranks third all-time in a Brown and Gold uniform with 148 career runs scored as well as third with 48 stolen bases, while being caught just six times.
“I am thankful for the opportunity I was given by Coach Woodson and Valparaiso University for helping me grow as a player,” Gaedele said. “I am forever indebted to the university. That said, I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career now. All of the things that Valpo taught me will carry over and help me strive to reach the next level with the San Diego Padres organization.”
Gaedele was a two-time Second Team All-Horizon League selection at Valparaiso, while he earned All-Tournament Team accolades in 2010. He also was named to the conference’s All-Newcomer Team following his freshman season.
In 2011 Gaedele started all 57 games for Valpo, hitting .312 with seven homers and 39 runs batted in. He drew 38 walks and posted a .417 on base percentage along with a .511 slugging percentage. His 23 stolen bases are fourth most on the Crusaders’ single season charts. As a sophomore in 2010, Gaedele set Valpo’s single season RBI record driving home 63 runs.
“I am excited for Kyle with the opportunity that he has been presented,” head coach Tracy Woodson said. “What he did for our program here at Valpo is just huge and I wish him nothing but the best in his professional career. He has helped Valpo baseball take the next step forward as a program.”
Gaedele is the third Crusader in the last two seasons to be drafted, and fourth in the five years that Woodson has been at the helm of the Brown and Gold. He is the highest selection ever by a Crusader, surpassing Lloyd McClendon’s eighth round pick by the New York Mets in the June Amateur Draft in 1980.
Last year Bo McClendon was chosen in the 39th round by the Detroit Tigers and will play with the Connecticut Tigers in the short season Class A New York-Penn League this summer. Bryce Shafer was selected in the 49th round last year by the Chicago Cubs and is currently playing with the Peoria Chiefs in the Class A Midwest League. Shafer has made 15 appearances, posting a 2.36 ERA in 26.2 innings of work. He has one save to go along with a 0-3 record this year, recording 22 strikeouts as a reliever.
“We hope to continue to bring players of Kyle’s caliber to Valpo to help them get this opportunity as well,” Woodson added. “With four draft picks over the last five years, we’ve started what we hope will become a tradition here of producing professional caliber ball players.”
Gaedele is the 18th player all-time to be selected from Valparaiso.