2016 MLB Draft Central
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State outfielder Spencer Johnson became the second Bear to be chosen in the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, as the Houston Astros selected the senior in the 16th round with the 487th overall pick on the final day of the 40-round amateur draft Saturday afternoon.
A second-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection and the Bears' A.E. 'Ted' Willis MVP, Johnson enjoyed a banner senior campaign, launching an NCAA Division I-best 24 home runs to go along with career-best totals for RBIs (70), runs (56), triples (3) and total bases (157). The Springfield, Mo., product led the MVC in walks (46) and slugging percentage (.707) and ranked second in total bases and third in runs, RBIs and sacrifice flies (6). He was twice named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week this spring, most notably following his April 6 performance vs. Kansas, in which he became the first Bear to homer three times in a game since 1999 and the first MSU player to drive in nine runs in 20 years.
Johnson capped his MSU career with a landmark run through the MVC Championship in Terre Haute, belting five home runs to earn most outstanding player recognition in leading the Bears to a runner-up finish. He completed his playing career in the No. 18 spot on MSU's career hits list with 218, second on the Bears' all-time walks chart (133) and ninth in career doubles (49). Additionally, his home run total this spring rates as the fifth-best in program history, while his 70 RBIs are the seventh-highest total ever for a Bear.
In addition to Johnson's selection, two Missouri State junior college signees from Jefferson College were picked Saturday. Infielder Keith Grieshaber (St. Charles, Mo.) was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels in the 16th round (486th overall pick) and pitcher Anthony Herron, Jr. (St. Charles, Mo.) was taken by the New York Mets in the 34th round (1030th overall).
Under the terms of Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, professional clubs must sign a drafted player by July 15, or the rights to that player are lost and he may re-enter the draft in 2017.