Three players with ties to the Nebraska baseball program heard their names called on the final day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Husker signee Derek Burkamper was first to come off the board on Saturday in the 20th round, when the right-handed pitcher from Muscatine, Iowa, was selected by the Boston Red Sox, Two rounds later, the Red Sox took another high school product in NU signee Ryan Boldt from Red Wing, Minn.
Chad Christensen heard his named called for the second straight year on Saturday when he was picked in the 25th round by the Minnesota Twins.
Christensen’s selection marks the 35-straight year that at least one Husker has been picked in the MLB Draft.
Derek Burkamper, RHP (20th Round – Boston Red Sox)
One of two Iowa products to sign with the Huskers in November, Burkamper recently started his senior season and is 4-0, notching 46 strikeouts to just three walks in 24 innings of work. The right-handed pitcher was named a second-team all-state pick by the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2012.
Tabbed as the 121st national recruit and the 32nd-best right-handed prep pitcher in the country by Perfect Game, Burkamper was 8-5 as a junior with a 1.17 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 83.2 innings of work.
Last season, Burkamper played for the Reds Midwest Scout team with fellow Huskers signee Bryce Only at the 2012 WWBA World Championships in Jupiter, Fla. He was named to the 2012 WWBA Kernels Foundation Championship all-tournament team after throwing three no-hit innings with five strikeouts.
Burkamper opened the 2012 Iowa 4A sub-state playoffs with an 11-strikeout performance against Cedar Rapids Jefferson.
Ryan Boldt, OF (22nd Round – Boston Red Sox)
Boldt signed with the Huskers in November and is a cousin of current Nebraska all-conference second baseman Pat Kelly.
Boldt was primed for a successful senior season at Red Wing, Minn., under Head Coach Jim Bohmbach, but was sidelined in the second game of the season with a knee injury. As a junior, Boldt led Red Wing's 2012 team to a 22-2 record and its first state tournament appearance since 1977. Boldt ranks as the No. 15 overall recruit and the No. 3 outfielder in the nation by Perfect Game USA.
Boldt was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic at PETCO Park in San Diego, Calif., after going 2-for-3 with a triple to lead the West squad to a 7-6 win. He earned a spot on the Team USA's Under-18 squad in August 2012 and was coached by former Major Leaguer and three-time World Series champion Scott Brosius. Boldt was the first Minnesota product to earn a spot on the team since current Minnesota Twins' catcher Joe Mauer was selected in 2000. Boldt competed with Team USA at the XXV IBAF Under-18 Baseball World Championships in Seoul, Korea, helping Team USA win its first world championship at the under-18 level since 1999 with a 6-2 win over Canada in the championship game. Boldt led all players at the 12-team event with a tournament-record 12 stolen bases and added a tournament-high 11 runs. He was the only player in the tournament to hit double figures in either category. He also set a tournament single-game record with five stolen bases in a 11-1 win over Columbia
Chad Christensen, OF (25th Round – Minnesota Twins)
After choosing not to sign with the Miami Marlins last season after being picked in the 35th round, Christensen returned for this senior season in 2013. A first-team all-conference pick for the second-straight season, Christensen moved to the outfield in 2013 after spending his first three seasons at shortstop. Christensen made a smooth transition to the outfield, where he has eight assists on the year and no errors. His eight outfield assists rank in the top-five nationally.
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native led or tied for the 2013 team lead in average (.364), on-base percentage (.436), runs (45) and triples (3), while finishing the year with career-high 82 hits, three hits shy of Pat Kelly’s team-high 85 hits.
During conference play, Christensen led all players in batting average (.431), hits (44) and runs scored (26). He was one of four players in the Big Ten that was nominated as the league’s player of the year.
Christensen ended his career with 247 hits, ranking seventh in Husker history. Christensen played in 213 games, making 202 starts, and finished his four-year career with a .313 batting average, 19 home runs and 118 RBIs.