Two Flames baseball players drafted by White Sox, Angels
Two Flames, both lefties, were picked in the Major League Baseball Draft this week — pitcher Ryan Hinchley by the Chicago White Sox and slugger Jeff Boehm by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Hinchley went to the Sox in the ninth round with the 262nd overall pick and Boehm followed in the 13th round with the 405th selection by the Angels.
“Playing at UIC truly prepared me to handle any sort of adversity tossed at me in any given situation, on the field and in life,” Hinchley said. “I feel that I am the strongest, mentally and physically, I can be before I enter professional baseball. The UIC baseball program groomed me to be a relentlessly disciplined individual, and I can’t thank all of the players and coaches enough.”
A native of Elmhurst, Hinchley capped his four-year career at UIC with a dominant senior campaign. Coming in as a closer, he made 27 appearances and pitched 37 innings to post a 3-2 record with 10 saves, putting him in the UIC record book at No. 3 for saves in a single season. He tabbed a 3.89 ERA with 50 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .195 batting average.
Hinchley earned a spot on the All-Horizon League Second Team at the end of the season after helping lead the Flames to the Horizon League Regular Season title. In conference play, he picked up three wins, eight saves and aided in two shutouts while combining for a 2.70 ERA with 33 strikeouts.
“Ryan was given an opportunity to pitch and develop at UIC, and he made the most of those chances,” said Sean McDermott, associate head coach. “He came to UIC as a quality kid. He grew, persevered, developed skills and is going to the White Sox organization as an even better person. I’m confident that his best years of baseball are yet to come.”
A native of Lansing, Illinois, Boehm ended his collegiate career with impressive accolades, including Horizon League Player of the Year and the league’s Triple Crown. Collegiate Baseball tapped him for the Louisville Slugger All-American Third-Team, the first time a Flame has been selected since 2007.
“We are really happy for Jeff and the Angels,” McDermott said. “Jeff is a tremendous leader, he is a tireless worker and he embodies our core values — selfless, relentless and excellence. He has been a great fit and a great addition to our program from the time he set foot on campus. He will do a good job of representing UIC and the Angels moving forward in professional baseball.”
In his senior year, Boehm was one of three players nationally to combine for 14 home runs and 67 RBI, while his .687 slugging percentage ranked eighth. He produced UIC’s best batting average at .374 and led with most hits (74), doubles (16), home runs (14), RBI (67) and walks (37).
“I would like to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play at such a great program,” Boehm said. “They gave me the confidence and trust that it takes to play at the professional level. They presented me with the qualities of a leader that have helped me develop as a person and player.”
A two-time All-Horizon League First Team selection, Boehm was a key contributor in the Flames run to their 11th Horizon League Regular Season Championship. In conference play, he hit .365 with 42 hits, nine doubles, eight home runs and 32 RBI.
In two seasons with the Flames, Boehm set a high mark in the UIC record book. He broke the single season mark for most RBI with his 67 in 2015 and his 14 homers placed third in the single-season category. Boehm’s 21 career long balls tied for eighth in the all-time records.
This marks the second consecutive year a Flame has been selected in the MLB draft. Tomas Michelson was chosen in the 29th round in 2014 by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Curtis Granderson, a 2003 UIC graduate and former Flames athlete, plays for the New York Mets. His contributions helped build Curtis Granderson Stadium, a facility for UIC athletics and Chicago youth baseball.