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Niagara's Greg Cullen selected by Atlanta Braves in 2018 MLB Draft

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

CullenSECAUCUS, N.J. – Niagara baseball shortstop Greg Cullen was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 15thround of the 2018 MLB Draft on Wednesday. Cullen was the 442nd overall pick. 

Cullen is the ninth Purple Eagle since 2005 to be drafted: James Avery, Dan Griffin and Reed Eastley (2005), Jeff Vincent (2006), Wynton Bernard (2012), Jordan Schwartz (2014) and Daniel Procopio and Tanner Kirwer(2017).

"We're incredibly happy for Greg to get his chance to play at the professional level," said Niagara baseball head coach Rob McCoy. "He's worked hard for this opportunity but, more importantly, he is a great human and steward of our program. This is a great thing for our program. Recruiting players who have the ability to someday play at the next level is a priority for us. Greg is our third draft pick in two years, with more potential picks currently in our program."

Cullen, the reigning MAAC Player of the Year, was an integral part of the NU squad in his three years on Monteagle Ridge. This season, Cullen led the nation for almost the entire season in hitting, finishing the year with an NCAA-best .458 batting average. His .556 on-base percentage was the second in the nation.

This season, Cullen led the Purple Eagles and the MAAC in hits with 81 and in slugging percentage (.655). He led Niagara in runs scored (51), doubles (17) and triples (three). He was second in the MAAC in runs scored, tied for second-most triples and third-most doubles and had the fourth-most stolen bases with 13.

Cullen was named to the All-America Second Team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and was selected to the College Sports Madness All-America Fourth Team. He was the only player from the MAAC represented on College Sports Madness' All-America teams.

The Penfield, N.Y. native is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, regarded by many as the most prestigious award in collegiate baseball. He was also named to the All-MAAC First Team at the conclusion of the regular season and was a two-time MAAC Player of the Week honoree.

"This is a dream come true," said Cullen. " Every kid dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball player and I'm one of the lucky ones that gets to fulfill that dream. I would like to thank my family, my coaches and especially my teammates; I could not have done this without their motivation and support. I am excited to be joining such a historic franchise. I am blessed the Braves gave me this opportunity and I cannot wait to start playing!"

Cullen has earned himself multiple entries into the Niagara baseball record book. His .458 average this season is the second-best in Niagara baseball history. He also had the second-most hits in program history with 81, the fourth-most runs scored with 51 and the most walks with 38. He will finish his career fourth all-time in batting average (.364), second in hits (208), third in singles (155) and sixth in triples (seven).