“I’m very excited, and this is a great feeling,” said Roberts. “I actually didn’t know until my brother (former Keydet Mike) called me, and then the Oakland scout called five minutes later. I had some contact with Oakland, but didn’t know they would take me there. I’m very glad to be going to a system with a VMI player in it, and the Athletics have obviously been pleased with the success they’ve had taking VMI players in the past.”
Roberts left VMI as the program’s all-time leader in hits, walks and runs scored, concluding his career by playing 194 straight games, which ranked as the ninth-longest streak in Division I at the time. He was First Team All-Big South this past season, as well as a two-time conference Player of the Week. He also earned an ECAC Player of the Week honor and was tabbed for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s All-Star Lineup on another occasion.
On the mound, he spent time as both a starter and reliever, and left Lexington tied for eighth on the program’s career saves list. Roberts was initially announced as a pitcher during the draft, but that designation was planned to be switched to shortstop during Oakland’s next pick.
This marks the seventh straight year in which VMI has had a player selected in the MLB draft, and the third time in four years that a player was chosen by Oakland. Trey Barham, a 25th round pick of the Athletics in the 2008 draft, remains in the team’s system and is currently pitching for Double-A Midland.