Bullard, Hutchison go on MLB Draft’s third day

Brad Stephens

Two more Toppers will have decisions to make on their immediate baseball future.

WKU senior designated hitter Chris Bullard was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 34th round of the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft Wednesday, and junior right fielder Ryan Hutchison was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 49th round.

Bullard and Hutchison join Kes Carter, Phil Wetherell, Matt Rice and Logan Robbins to make six WKU players drafted, tying a school record set in the 2009 Draft, when six Toppers were also picked.

Bullard, who was picked No. 1,046 overall, played 47 games during his two years as a member of the WKU baseball team. He joins Robbins as a fellow Braves draft pick.

In 2011 the Cataula, Ga., native hit .229 with four home runs and 19 RBIs while splitting time in the DH spot with several other Toppers.

Bullard, who played linebacker on the WKU football team for four seasons, has an extra year of baseball eligibility available due to NCAA rules should he opt not to sign with Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Hutchison was selected at No. 1,493 overall after his first year at WKU.

The Gillette, Wyo., native and Iowa Western Community College transfer hit .279 with five home runs and 41 RBIs in 2011.

WKU Head Coach Chris Finwood predicted Tuesday that Hutchison would return to WKU if drafted.