Florida Atlantic baseball has etched themselves into history with Nolan Schanuel becoming the first player from the program to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft.
"It means the world to me to be drafted," said Schanuel of his being selected. "This has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and it goes to show all the hard work is paying off."
Schanuel saw himself get drafted by the Los Angeles Angels with the 11th pick on Sunday evening. He surpassed C.J. Chatham (2014-16), who was taken 51st overall by the Boston Red Sox in the second round of the 2016 draft, to be the highest-drafted player in FAU history.
Coming off a remarkable 2023 campaign with the Owls while finishing with an astounding .447 average, an .868 slugging percentage, 88 hits, 71 walks, 64 RBI, and 19 home runs, Schanuel led all of NCAA Division I in on base percentage (OBP), batting average, walks, and finished third in slugging percentage as well.
His three-year career with FAU witnessed solid improvement every season, and was highlighted with becoming more accurate with his swing which in turn led to his turning into arguably the most reliable source of offensive production for the Owls this past year. Schanuel went from a decent .343 average to an elite .447 percentage during the span.
Schanuel will depart FAU with his head held high having won Conference USA Player of the Year, being named a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award. He was also was selected as a First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Perfect Game USA, ABCA/Rawlings, Baseball America, and D1Baseball.
MLB.com had him projected as a mid-to-late first round pick, saying he has a chance to be an above-average hitter in the league.
"He’s always had an advanced approach at the plate, drawing more walks than strikeouts over his first two college seasons, and even though his Cape numbers weren’t very good, the plate discipline still showed up," Schanuel's scouting report read.
With Schanuel's selection, he becomes the 102nd Owl to be drafted by a MLB team and will join the current FAU players also currently playing in the MLB:
- Austin Gomber (2012-14); Colorado Rockies
- R.J. Alvarez (2009-12); New York Mets
- Tyler Frank (2016-18); Tampa Bay Rays
- Kyle Marman (2016-18); Cleveland Guardians
- Jake Miednik (2017-18); Seattle Mariners
- B.J. Murray (2019-21); Chicago Cubs
- Pedro Pages (2017-19); St. Louis Cardinals
- Javi Rivera (2020-21); Cincinatti Reds
- Mike Ruff (2017-19); Colorado Rockies
- Matt Sparling (2020-21); San Diego Padres
- Francisco Urbaez (2019-20); Cincinatti Reds
- Cody Wilson (2018); Washington Nationals
- David McKay (2014-16); Tampa Bay Rays
- Gabriel Rincones Jr. (2022); Philadelphia Phillies
Like virtually all other former FAU players who have gone before him Schanuel was recruited and developed under the tutelage Owl skipper John McCormack, who he had warm words for.
"Coach Mac has been an amazing coach, helping me not only on the field but off the field as well," Schanuel said. "He’s been an excellent mentor to me."