University of Nevada junior first baseman Austin Byler was selected by the Washington Nationals in the ninth round with 274th overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft today. The junior could opt to not sign with the Nationals or return for his senior season in 2015.
Byler earned All-Mountain West honors after leading the conference with 14 home runs, a .624 slugging percentage and tied for first with 138 total bases. The 14 home runs currently rank seventh nationally, the slugging percentage is 16th and total bases ranks 15th.
On the year Byler batted .326 with 51 runs scored, 72 hits, 14 doubles, five triples and 47 RBI. In the MW he ranked ninth in hitting, fourth in on base percentage (.420), fourth in runs scored, 10th in hits and 10th in total plate appearances (263). He tied for second in triples, fourth being hit by pitch 13 times and 10th in doubles.
In 2014 the native of Peoria, Ariz. topped the team in runs, triples, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage, RBI and total bases. He was second on the squad in hits, doubles, hit by pitch, total plate appearances and at bats (221).