June 8, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Kyle Ruchim was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 39th round on the final day of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Ruchim has been a valuable two-way player for the Wildcats since arriving in Evanston for the 2011 season. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native missed all but two games in 2014 after requiring season-ending surgery, but he was top performer during his first three seasons. Ruchim has a career batting average of .292 after hitting a career-high .365 during his junior season in 2013. He was named to the All-Big Ten Team a year ago after ranking fifth in the conference in batting average and leading the league with 10 double in B1G games. The senior has 65 career RBI, 36 doubles, eight triples, seven home runs and 24 stolen bases. Ruchim has spent time at second base, the position that the Cardinals drafted him to play, as well as shortstop, in the outfield and on the mound.
As a key member of Northwestern's bullpen, Ruchim has recorded 14 saves while posting a 4-4 record out of the bullpen for the 'Cats. He's recorded 86 strikeouts over 72.0 innings of work and opponents have hit .228 off the right-handed pitcher.
A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Ruchim will graduate from Northwestern University this month with a degree in biological sciences. The team captain started NU's first two games at shortstop this spring before exiting the second game with an injury. He was unable to return to the diamond after that and is eligible to return to the Wildcats for one more season in 2015. Ruchim will discuss his options with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, his family and the NU coaching staff before deciding whether or not he will sign a professional contract or return to Evanston for his final season.
Ruchim becomes the 65th student-athlete to play under head coach Paul Stevens
that has been drafted by, or signed a contract with, a Major League Baseball organization. At least one player has been drafted in 16 of the past 17 years under Stevens' direction.
There are currently six 'Cats playing with professional organizations, including two at the Major League level. J.A. Happ is in the starting rotation for the Toronto Blue Jays, while George Kontos is in the bullpen for the San Francisco Giants. Eric Jokisch (Chicago Cubs), Bo Schultz (Arizona Diamondbacks) and Jake Goebbert (San Diego Padres) are all playing at the Class AAA level, while 2013 draftees Luke Farrell (Kansas City Royals) and Zach Morton (Houston Astros) are playing at the Class A level. New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is also a Northwestern alum.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!