Poncedeleon, Hernandez, Ratcliff Taken on Final Day of MLB Draft

Daniel Poncedeleon picked in 14th round

June 8, 2013

HOUSTON – University of Houston hurlers Daniel Poncedeleon (14th round/Chicago Cubs) and Matt Hernandez (23rd round/Los Angeles Angels) along with shortstop Frankie Ratcliff (40th round/Arizona Diamondbacks) were selected on the final day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Poncedeleon was taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round at No. 408 overall, while Hernandez was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 23rd round at No. 697 overall and Ratcliff by Arizona in the 40th round at No. 1200 overall on Saturday afternoon.
The trio became the second, third, and fourth Cougars over the last two days to be drafted, joining Austin Pruitt, who was taken in the ninth round at No. 278 by the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
Poncedeleon completed his junior season, Hernandez exhausted his college eligibility in 2013 and Ratcliff wrapped up his junior season and first year as a Cougar for Houston under head coach Todd Whitting. The three became the 129th, 130th, and 131st all-time Houston student-athletes and sixth, seventh and eighth under Whitting (since 2011) selected in the MLB Draft.
The four drafted in 2013 marks the most Cougars taken in one Draft since six were taken in 2010.  
Daniel Poncedeleon | RHP
Round 14 | No. 408 overall | Chicago Cubs
·      C-USA Pitcher of the Week (April 1)
·      C-USA Baseball All-Academic Team
·      C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll
·      3rd time drafted (38th Rd-2012, 24th Rd-2010)
Highly regarded as a top pitching prospect in C-USA...Had a strong debut season for the Cougars...Finished 7-5 with a 4.47 ERA...Tied for the team lead with 15 starts...Totaled 86.2 innings for second-most on team...Struck out 62 hitters...Was 5-1 in C-USA action with a 4.15 ERA in eight starts...After opening the year 0-2 as Houston's Sunday starter, he moved to the Friday role and excelled, notching four straight wins...First Cougar win came vs. Texas A&M-CC (March 8)...Pitched 7.0 innings with five strikeouts and combined for a shutout in the 13-0 win...Second win came vs. New Orleans (March 15) and third vs. East Carolina (March 22)...Had back-to-back eight strikeout games, vs. ECU and at Memphis (March 29)...Pitched a complete-game, five hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks - allowing just an unearned run at Memphis en route to being named C-USA Pitcher of the Week (April 1)...Went on to record wins vs. Rice (April 19), tossing 5.2 innings with four strikeouts, at Tulane (May 3) and vs. Southern Miss (May 16)
Prior to Houston: Played sophomore season at Cypress JC (CA) and freshman season at the University of Arizona. Attended La Mirada HS in La Mirada, Calif.
Matt Hernandez | LHP
Round 23 | No. 697 overall | Los Angeles Angels
·      C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll
SENIOR (2013)
Had a strong senior season, making 17 appearances for third-most on the team...Started three games...Finished with a 4-1 record and a 3.00 ERA...Worked 42.0 innings...Struck out 38 and walked just nine...Opened the year with three starts, while compiling a 1-0 record...Moved to the pen and was strong, tallying three wins...Worked a season-long 6.0 innings in first start of the year vs. Northeastern (Feb. 15) for the victory...Lasted 6.2 innings in relief vs. Seton Hall (April 12) for longest effort out of the pen...Struck out a career-high seven in 4.0 relief innings vs. Harvard (March 20)...Didn't allow a run in his final four relief appearances to close out the year...Earned wins vs. Northeastern (Feb. 15), Harvard (March 20), East Carolina (March 24), Tulane (May 5)...Led Houston with a 1.89 ERA in C-USA games with a 2-0 record in nine appearances...Struck out 14 in 19.0 relief innings, while holding opposing league hitters to a .219 clip

JUNIOR (2012)
Appeared in 16 games on the bump for the Cougars...Made four starts...Finished the year with a 5.79 ERA and a 1-2 record...Pitched 32.2 innings with 24 strikeouts...Earned win in final game of 2012 vs. Memphis in the C-USA Championship (May 25)...Tossed a season-long 6.1 innings in that game with a season-high six strikeouts...Fanned five at East Carolina in 4.0 innings of work, longest relief effort of the year (April 5)...Made starts vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Feb. 21), at Texas Tech (April 13), vs. Marshall (April 22), and vs. Memphis (May 25)...Made an appearance in right field during the Memphis series
Prior to Houston: Played two seasons at Blinn Junior College and attended William Travis High School in Richmond, Texas.
Frankie Ratcliff | SS
Round 40 | No. 1200 overall | Arizona Diamondbacks
·      C-USA Newcomer of the Year
·      C-USA Second Team All-Conference (IF)
·      C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll
·      All-Silver Glove Series vs. Rice
Was instrumental in Houston's success during his first season as a Cougar...Named C-USA Newcomer of the Year - just the second time a Cougar has won that honor in program history...Started and played in all 58 games at shortstop for the Cougars...Ranked second in the nation and led C-USA with eight triples - tying the UH single-season all-time record...Hit .300 with 63 hits and 38 runs scored...Led Houston and ranked among the league leaders with 44 RBI...Tallied a team-best .467 slugging percentage led by eight triples and team-high 13 doubles and two homeruns...Walked 37 times to just 36 strikeouts for a .398 on-base percentage...Was 11-for-12 in stolen bases...Led Houston in C-USA games with a .353 average to rank among the best in league play...Drove in 16 on seven doubles and five triples...Ranked second-best on the team with 16 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games...Tallied a 14-game on-base reaching streak...Notched nine three-hit games...Drove in a season-high five RBI in win over Texas Southern (April 16)...Belted first homerun as a Cougar in win over No. 30 Texas A&M at the College Classic (March 1)...Went 3-for-4 in that game...Drove in four on two hits in win over Penn State (March 6)...Walked with the bases loaded to score the eventual game-winning run vs. Texas (March 19)...Went 3-for-3 with two RBI, a triple and double in win over East Carolina (March 22)...Hit two triples and drove in three RBI on three hits in win over Rice (April 19)...Teamed up to turn 21 double plays

Prior to Houston: Played 2012 season at Pensacola JC, 2011 season at University of Miami and highschool at Key West HS in Key West, Fla.

Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.



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