Mariners draft ASU OF Michael Faulkner in 12th round

JONESBORO, AR ( - Arkansas State junior center fielder Michael Faulkner was drafted in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday, going as the 371st overall pick to the Seattle Mariners.  Faulkner's 12th-round selectionmakes him the second-highest ASU pick in the history of the draft, behind ASU senior pitcher Jacob Lee, who was taken in the ninth round earlier Tuesday.

Faulkner (Memphis, Tenn.) was named to the Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament team after leading the Red Wolves to the championship game and a 34-23 overall record during the 2012 season.

Faulkner, who hit .291 on the season, became the single-season ASU stolen base leader during the 2012 campaign, finishing the year with 41 stolen bases on 42 attempts.  Faulkner shattered the previous ASU record of 29 set by Jerome Miller in 1978 and stands just two stolen bases short of Miller's career record of 84 set from 1976-79.  In 89 stolen base attempts during his three-year career at ASU, Faulkner has been caught stealing just seven times.

"We are very proud of Mike in being drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Baseball Draft," said ASU head coach Tommy Raffo.  "He was certainly instrumental in the successwe enjoyed this season, and being drafted in the 12th round speaks highly of his ability on the baseball field.  We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career with the Mariners organization.  We have certainly enjoyed having Mike as part of our program this season and during all of his three seasons at ASU."

Faulkner also tied the ASU single-game stolen base record with four stolen bases April 4 at Missouri State and was named to the Austin Peay Riverview Inn All-Tournament team March 11 after hitting .592 with a triple and six stolen bases in the tournament.  He is a .308 career hitter at ASU, with 27 doubles, eight triples and 80 RBI to his credit.

"I am very excited about being selected by Seattle today," said Faulkner.  "It has always been a goal of mine to be able to play professional baseball and my time at Arkansas State has really helped me prepare for this opportunity.  I am very thankful to Coach Raffo and the ASU staff, along with my family for helping me reach this goal."