Oraj Anu slides

Wallace College's Oraj Anu, shown sliding into the plate during a regular-season game, was selected Wednesday in the 16th round of the MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.

Wallace left field Oraj Anu was the only member of the Govs team to be taken in this year’s Major League Baseball after the Boston Red Sox took him in the 16th round (497th overall) on Wednesday afternoon.

The three day 40-round draft was completed early Wednesday evening.

“I was really excited,” Anu told the Dothan Eagle exclusively about 30 minutes after he was selected. “I expected it, but it’s always nice to see your name come across the screen. This is the second time I’ve had that opportunity.”

Two years ago, Anu was drafted out of high school in the 20th round, also by the Red Sox. Instead of signing, he chose to come to Wallace College.

“Wallace was a very good choice for me,” he said. “I was able to mature a lot. I had to learn to live on my own, get groceries, wash clothes, and all of those things I would need to do in the minor leagues.”

Earlier this year, Anu committed to Kentucky. So even if he doesn’t go play pro ball, his options are pretty good.

“Right now, I would say it’s about 50/50 as to whether or not I will sign,” Anu said. “We haven’t had any official contract talks yet. They told me that would happen in the next few days.”

Wallace head coach Mackey Sasser, though, feels the time is right for Anu to move on.

“He needs to go (play pro ball)” Sasser said. “He’s got all the tools and this is a good opportunity for him. He needs to play every day. And the best thing about playing pro ball for him is he’ll get the opportunity to fine tune his skills. He’ll have position coaches who specialize in helping him improve and get better.”

Anu had a very good sophomore season at Wallace. He finished first in the state with 19 home runs. He had a batting average of .391 and he had 66 RBIs, which was also first in the state. Anu also goes down in history as the only Wallace player to hit a home run from the left and right side of the plate in the same game.

“I have a lot of people to thank for helping me be successful while I was at Wallace,” he said. “First of all there were my coaches, coach Sasser, coach Nik Bueuntello, and coach Phillip Hurst. I also want to thank my academic advisor Miss Amanda Wise. She made sure I was on top of everything school wise.”

Wise helped Anu be named to the ACCC Commissioner’s All-Academic Honor Roll.

“This is an exciting time for me,” Anu said. “I can’t wait to start the next chapter in my life.”

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