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NU's Kirwer drafted by Toronto Blue Jays


SECAUCUS, N.J. – Niagara baseball outfielder Tanner Kirwer was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday. Kirwer was the 609th overall pick.

Kirwer, a junior from Sherwood Park, Alberta, was the Blue Jays' first 2017 Canadian-born draft pick. Kirwer is the second Purple Eagle selected in the 2017 MLB Draft; teammate Daniel Procopio was selected in the 10th round by the Los Angeles Angels. He is the eighth NU player to be drafted since 2005: James Avery, Dan Griffin, Reed Eastley (2005), Jeff Vincent (2006), Wynton Bernard (2012), Jordan Schwartz (2014) and Procopio (2017).

"I'm very happy for Tanner and this opportunity," said Niagara head coach Rob McCoy. "He's worked hard to get this chance and is ready to take his game to the next level. As successful as he's been at Niagara, I think his best days are still ahead. The sky is the limit for him in professional baseball."

Kirwer has been a stand-out for the Purple Eagles in his three seasons with the team. In 2017, he led the team in hits (65), runs scored (47), doubles (20), stolen bases (23), at bats (194) and total bases (91). His 65 hits, 20 doubles and 47 runs were all career-highs. He finished the season batting .335 and was an All-MAAC First Team selection.

In his time with the Purple Eagles, Kirwer was recognized often. He was named to the All-MAAC Second Team at the conclusion of both the 2015 and 2016 seasons and was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team in 2016 and 2017. Kirwer was named MAAC Player of the Week and National Hitter of the Week after he record 10 hits, seven runs and 12 RBI in Niagara's three-game series with Saint Peter's in April 2016.

In his career, Kirwer recorded 163 hits, 112 runs scored, 42 doubles, 75 RBI and 66 stolen bases and batted .329. In his time with the Purple and White, Kirwer earned himself two entries in the Niagara baseball record book. Kirwer is tied for second-most doubles in a single season with 20 in 2017 and is tied for fifth in stolen bases with 24 in 2015.