ELON, N.C. – With the 26th selection in the 14th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Elon junior pitcher Chris Hall. He was the 432nd player drafted overall. Hall is the second Elon player selected in this year’s draft, joining infielder Nick Zammarelli who was the eighth-round choice of the Seattle Mariners.
Hall became the highest Phoenix pitcher drafted since lefty Jimmy Reyes was selected in the seventh round by the Texas Rangers in 2010. Elon has now had at least one player selected in the MLB Draft in nine of the last 10 seasons and multiple players picked in seven of those years.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Hall. “Going from catching to pitching and be considered good enough to get drafted is great. I love it. Going in to the draft the best case scenario I was hearing was late in the top 10 round, but early after that was what I was expecting. I’m pumped; the Blue Jays are an awesome team. Every time I watch one of their games they seem like they’re having fun playing baseball. (Elon teammate) Danny Lynch’s uncle is a scout for them which has been great.”
Hall, a junior from Winnetka, Ill., went 2-2 with 10 saves and a 2.93 ERA in 24 appearances in 2016. He walked just eight hitters and struck out 27, while holding opponents to a .256 batting average. In CAA games, Hall was 1-1 with five saves. Hall ended the regular season ranking second in the conference in saves and tied for ninth in appearances. Hall’s play was key in Elon’s series win at Northeastern in April. In game two of the series, a 2-0 Phoenix win, he picked up the save. The next day he threw a career-long 4.0 innings, striking out a personal-best five hitters to pick up the victory. Hall’s 10 saves tied for the fifth-most ever in a season by an Elon pitcher.
A converted catcher, Hall made 59 appearances on the mound, posting a 2-5 record with 12 saves and a 4.22 ERA. He struck out 67 hitters in 70.1 innings and walked just 28 hitters.