URI's Chris Hess from North Kingston Drafted by Yankees, Teammate Figueroa Picked by Astros
URI news release...
KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island second baseman Chris Hess and catcher Martin Figueroa both heard their names called on Day Three of the 2017 MLB Draft. Hess was selected in the 17th round (512th overall) by the New York Yankees while Figueroa went to the Astros in the 32nd round (961st overall), marking the first time since 2009 that the Rams have multiple players drafted in the same season.
A North Kingstown, R.I. native, Hess was named the 2017 NCBWA District I Player of the Year as well as the NEIBA Division I Player of the Year after hitting .347 (77-for-222) this season. He collected 22 doubles, three triples and eight homers while stealing 12 bases, scoring 44 runs and driving in 48. Defensively, he helped the Rams turn 21 double plays while committing just six errors on 227 total chances.
A three-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference player and two-time ABCA/Rawlings All-Northeast Region pick, Hess ended the season on a tear, hitting .500 (5-10) with three home runs and two doubles at the 2017 A-10 Championship. For his performance, he was named to the All-Championship team.
After just three full seasons with the Rams, Hess owns URI's career triples record (19), ranks second all-time in doubles (46) and is third in extra-base hits (82).
Figueroa has served as a utility guy for the Rams, playing infield, outfield and designated hitter before taking over as URI's every-day catcher this season. He battled through injuries during his senior year, appearing in 45 games and hitting .248 with 39 hits, 24 walks, 27 runs scored, 12 doubles, two home runs and 10 stolen bases. Behind the dish, he turned in a perfect fielding percentage on 247 total chances (226 putouts/21 assists).
The Elizabeth, N.J. product was named to the 2015 Atlantic 10 All-Conference Team as well as the 2016 A-10 All-Championship team, in addition to earning Most Outstanding Player accolades at last year's conference championship. In URI's A-10 title game victory over Davidson, he crossed the plate five times to tie the conference's record for runs scored in a championship game. He also was an NEIBA All-New England and ABCA-Rawlings All-Northeast region honoree during his junior season with the Rams.
Figueroa finished his collegiate career ranked fifth in program history in career doubles (49) and seventh in career extra-base hits (66).
Hess and Figueroa are the second-ever Rhode Island Rams taken by their respective organizations. Hess will join Al Alvarez (1958) as the second Ram in the Yankees' organization while Figueroa joins Steve McCumiskey (1990) as the second Ram to be drafted by the Astros.