June 6, 2014
By Dan Forcella
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - For the seventh straight year the UCF baseball program had one of its players taken in the MLB First-Year Player Draft, as left-handed pitcher Eric Skoglund was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 92nd overall pick in the third round on Friday.
Skoglund became the fourth straight UCF draftee to be selected in the first five rounds, following Beau Taylor (5th, 2011), Joe Rogers (5th, 2012), and most recently Ben Lively (4th, 2013). The most recent three were all pitchers.
Overall, the Knights have now had 88 players drafted by the MLB, 31 in the first 10 rounds, and 17 in the first five round. Skoglund is just the 10th Knight ever to be selected in one of the first three rounds of the draft.
Skoglund had a tremendous junior season at UCF, leading the Knights to a 36-23 record and a second place finish in the American Athletic Conference. The junior was named The American Pitcher of the Year for his efforts, finishing the campaign with a record of 9-3, an ERA of 2.54, and 94 strikeouts to just 27 walks.
This is the second time Skoglund has seen his name come across the board at the draft. Coming out of high school, the Sarasota, Fla., native was picked in the 16th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
For head coach Terry Rooney, Skoglund becomes his 19th player drafted since arriving in Orlando in the summer of 2008. The tall lefty is also the 46th pitcher and the 14th player selected in the first 10 rounds that has been coached by Rooney.
Skoglund is UCF's highest draft pick since Matt Fox was selected in the first round by the Minnesota Twins back in 2004, which makes the Sarasota native the highest pick under Rooney since he took over the program.
Skoglund also becomes the second Knight to be drafted by the Royals, joining Brian Ahern who was selected in the third round by Kansas City back in 1989.