JMU roundup: Phillies take Munson in Rule 5 draft

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

ORLANDO, Fla. — Former James Madison University right-handed pitcher Kevin Munson was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the Major League Baseball Rule 5 draft on the final day of the 2013 Winter Meetings on Thursday.

Munson learned of his selection while representing the Diamondbacks in the winter Mexican League, where he had a 1.59 ERA in five appearances for Naranjeros de Hermosillo. He was the third of nine selections in the Major League portion of the draft.

As a Rule 5 selection, the Phillies must keep Munson on their 25-man roster in the Major Leagues for the entire season. To remove him from the roster he must either be offered back to the Diamondbacks or the teams must complete a trade in order for the Phillies to send him to the minor leagues while maintaining his rights.

Munson opened the 2013 minor eeague season for the second straight year with the Class Double-A Mobile BayBears. He went 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA and 13 saves in 29 appearances before receiving his first promotion to Triple A. With the Reno Aces, he posted a 5.09 ERA in 23 innings pitched.

A 2010 fourth-round draft pick of Arizona, Munson has shown steady progression through the minors. Directly out of JMU, he posted a 1.10 ERA in 12 games for South Bend in 2010. He spent most of 2011 in Class A Visalia with a 4.02 ERA in 42 games and a late-season call up to Mobile, where he helped the BayBears to a Southern League title. He was named a Rising Star in 2011 while playing among the best prospects in MLB in the Arizona Fall League and also recognized as a Mid-Season All-Star in the Southern League this year.

Munson holds JMU records for career saves (23) and season saves (10), a category in which he also ranks second with nine in 2009. The career mark also sits fourth in CAA history. He is third all-time at JMU with a 2.35 career ERA and 10th with his 2010 season ERA of 1.64. In 2010, he was named the CAA’s first Pitcher of the Year and a third team All-American after going 8-1 with 10 saves, a 1.64 ERA, a .174 opponent average and 70 strikeouts.

If he makes the Phillies’ roster out of spring training, Munson will become the 13th former Diamond Duke to make it to the Major Leagues. In 2013, former pitcher Ryan Reid (2005-06) was called up in midseason by the Pittsburgh Pirates to join one of baseball’s best bullpens. Reid made seven appearances with the Pirates while posting a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings.