Three Cougars Taken in MLB First-Year Player Draft

June 6, 2012

HOUSTON--Three University of Houston baseball players were recognized for their strong collegiate careers as they were taken on the final day of the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft. Right-handed pitcher Mo Wiley was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 28th Round (862 overall), catcher John Cannon was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 29th Round (896 overall) and right-handed pitcher Jared Ray was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th Round (1053 overall).  

Wiley, Cannon, and Ray concluded their four-year collegiate careers as Cougars this season, earning four letters for Houston.

The three join a historically sound list of former Cougars who were taken in previous years' drafts. Wiley, Cannon, and Ray became the 125th, 126th, 127th players drafted in the program's history, which includes greats like Doug Drabek, Woody Williams, Michael Bourn, Brad Lincoln, Jesse Crain, Chris Snyder, Scott Sheldon, and Garrett Mock, among many.

All three played their final two seasons under second-year head coach Todd Whitting. Since Whitting took over the helm of the Cougars, Houston has seen four players drafted, including Caleb Ramsey in 2011. In his career, Whitting has coached more than 65 players that were drafted by Major League organizations.

Mo Wiley
Wiley was taken in the 28th Round at No. 862 by the Cincinnati Reds.

Wiley's thoughts: "It's a tremendous opportunity and I am very blessed to have been selected. Professional baseball has been a life-long dream and I consider myself to be a lucky one. I'm excited and anxious to pursue the next step and get back to work--still wearing Cougar red."

A four-year letterwinner out of Katy, Texas, Wiley graduated this May with a degree in Sports Administration and a minor in Human Development Consumer Science.

Wiley made 76 appearances and 26 starts in his career. He held an ERA of 5.80 and a 12-13 record with 6 saves, four coming this season. In 195.2 innings pitched, Wiley fanned 146 hitters with a career-high 10 coming in 2010 against Cal Poly. He tossed a career-long 9.0 innings against Southern Miss in 2011 and earned key saves over Tennessee and Oklahoma State this year.

He was a two-time Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient and was named a College Baseball 360 Primetime Performer in 2011.

Made a team-high 20 appearances, all coming in relief...Served primarily as the Cougars' closer...Struck out 39 hitters in 34.2 innings...Recorded a 2-2 record and a 4.67 ERA...Tallied four saves...Pitched 7.1 scoreless in relief in back-to-back appearances vs. McNeese State (April 3) and at East Carolina (April 7)...Fanned a season-high seven in just 3.0 innings in a win over Marshall (April 20)...Earned first save in a win over Delaware (Feb. 18)...Went on to close out a win over Tennessee at the Houston College Classic (March 2)...Closed a one-run win at Oklahoma State (March 18)... Recorded fourth save in 1.0 inning effort vs. Lamar (April 10)...Held opponents to a .233 average...Pitched a season-long 4.0 innings and didn't allow a hit with four strikeouts at East Carolina in relief...Suffered a broken jaw in early May, sidelining him for the end of the C-USA schedule...Appeared in seven conference games...In 15.1 innings, struck out 18...Held C-USA hitters to a low .169 average...Pitched 1.1 innings of hitless ball with two strikeouts vs. Rice (Feb. 28).

John Cannon
Cannon was taken in the 29th Round at No. 896 by the LA Dodgers.

Cannon's thoughts: "It's a great feeling to have been drafted. It's something I've been dreaming of since I was about four years old. To have the opportunity to play for a great organization like the LA Dodgers is an honor and I'm excited to start the next chapter of my life." 

A native of Hutto, Texas, Cannon was a four-year letterwinner and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Sports Administration and a minor in Nutrition this May.

Cannon played in 151 games with 132 starts as catcher. He produced his best season yet, hitting .302 for Houston. In his career, he hit .269 with 119 hits, 61 runs, 55 RBI, 18 doubles, and 4 homeruns. He notched a career-high four hits twice, last coming at Texas Tech this year, while driving in a career-best four RBI at UAB.

Cannon was a three-time Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient, named to the All-Silver Glove Series vs. Rice twice, and to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team in 2011.

Wrapped up a solid career with his best season yet...Started 51 games and appeared in 53 all as the Cougar catcher...Notched a .302 batting average...Tallied 54 hits, 21 runs scored for third-best on the team, and drove in 19 RBI...Had 12 multi-hit games...Led the team with 295 putouts and 65 assists...Picked off six base runners...Tallied a career-high four hits at Texas Tech (April 15)...Drove in a career-best four RBI at UAB (April 28) on a double and single...Tallied three RBI on three hits in a win over Tennessee at the Houston College Classic (March 2)...Rode a nine-game hit streak (April 7-21)...Had three consecutive games with at least 2+ hits during the Texas Tech series...Was 2-for-2 with two sacrifice bunts vs. Rice (May 6)...Led the team with nine sacrifice bunts...Hit .316 in C-USA play...Was 2-for-6 with an RBI on a solo homerun in a win over Tulane (May 11)...Had four hits in series vs. Rice (May 4-6)...Named to the All-Silver Glove Series Team vs. Rice.

Jared Ray
Ray was taken in the 34th Round at No. 1053 by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ray's thoughts: "I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to continue playing baseball. Not many people finish college and go out and do the same thing they have wanted to do since they were a kid."

A native of Waco, Texas, Ray wrapped up his fifth year as a Cougar. A Cum Laude graduate, he earned his degree in May in Psychology.

Jared made 58 appearances and 33 starts. He held a career-ERA of 5.92 and was 11-13 with two saves. In 211.1 innings pitched, Ray fanned 163 hitters and recorded two complete games and one shutout. He was instrumental in the 2008 post season, tossing a complete game to earn a win over then No. 9 Texas A&M in the NCAA Regional. He fanned a career-high 10 hitters in a win over Tennessee this year at the Houston College Classic. For that effort, Ray was named C-USA Pitcher of the Week, College Baseball 360 Primetime Performer and to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team.

Ray was a five-time Commissioner's Honor Roll Recipient, was a 2nd team All-Conference honoree in 2009, a two-time member of the C-USA Championship All-Tournament Team, named to the 2008 NCAA College Station Regional All-Tournament Team, and recognized on the C-USA All-Academic Team this season.

Made 16 appearances with eight starts on the bump for the Cougars...Started first five appearances...Finished with a 2-6 record and a 7.47 ERA...In 53.0 innings pitched, struck out 41...Had a career-high 10 strikeouts in a win over Tennessee at the Houston College Classic (March 2)...Had back-to-back 7.0 inning starts vs. Texas State (Feb. 24) and vs. Tennessee...Went 5.0+ innings in five of his eight starts...Pitched 5.0 scoreless innings in a win over Tulane in relief (May 11)...Fanned seven vs. Texas State and six vs. Tulane...Made three starts in C-USA play...Struck out 17 in 21.1 innings...Was named C-USA Pitcher of the Week (March 5)...Honored as a College Baseball 360 Primetime Performer (March 6)...Named to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team...Recognized on the C-USA All-Academic Baseball Team.

Houston Baseball also saw seven members of its 2013 signing class get taken over the final two days of the MLB First Year Player Draft.

  • RHP Brandon Brennan (4th Round/141 overall - Chicago White Sox) - Orange Coast College (CA)
  • RHP Jeremy Kivel (10th Round/322 overall - Cincinnati Reds) - Spring HS (TX)
  • RHP Jacob Lemoine (21st Round/666 overall - Texas Rangers) - Bridge City HS (TX)
  • RHP Avain Rachal (22nd Round/682 overall - Cincinnati Reds) - Cy-Fair HS (TX)
  • RHP Dustin Cook (30th Round/920 overall - New York Mets) - Hargrave HS (TX)
  • RHP Daniel Poncedeleon (38th Round/1162 overall - Cincinnati Reds) - Cypress College (CA) 
  • LHP Jared West (39th Round/1186 overall - Pittsburgh Pirates) - North DeSoto HS (LA)



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