New Hampshire Hardball

Yankees select Dartmouth’s Rice

Gil Talbot photo

HANOVER — Ben Rice of the Dartmouth College baseball team was selected by the New York Yankees in the 12th round with the 363rd overall pick of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday afternoon. Rice is the 37th Big Green player to be chosen in an MLB Draft since its inception in 1965 and first in four years.

A 6-2, 205-pound rising senior from Cohasset, Mass., Rice worked his way into a starting role behind the dish as a freshman in 2019, batting .278 in 72 at-bats with four doubles, two triples, a homer and 11 RBIs. After playing in seven games and getting 27 at-bats to start the 2020 spring, he has not played an inning for Dartmouth due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the last two seasons.

Rice has starred in collegiate summer leagues, however, leading the Futures League in 2020 with 11 home runs, a .683 slugging percentage and 1.150 OPS to earn MVP honors while playing for the Worcester Bravehearts. His .350 average was third-best during the 38-game season, as were his 43 hits, 27 RBIs and .467 on-base percentage.

This summer, the product of Noble & Greenough School, is strapping on the gear for the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League, batting an even .300 in 30 at-bats with three doubles while driving in nine runs. Those nine RBIs rank third on the Kettleers despite being ninth in at-bats.

Rice is the third player associated with Dartmouth to be chosen by the Yankees in the draft. The first was Jim Beattie, who enjoyed a nine-year career in the big leagues, and the other was Brad Ausmus, who had an 18-year MLB career behind the plate but never played for the Big Green after signing out of high school in 1987.

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NOTES: The last Dartmouth players to be selected in the MLB Draft were Beau Sulser and Michael Danielak in 2017 by the Pittsburgh Pirates (10th round) and Oakland Athletics (19th round), respectively. … Sulser is currently pitching at the Triple-A level for the Indianapolis Indians in the Pirates organization with a 4-2 record and 3.02 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts), while Danielak is pitching in High-A ball for the Lancaster Lugnuts in the A’s organization with a 1-1 record and 5.12 ERA over 14 relief outings. … The last Big Green position player taken in the draft was Joe Purritano in 2015 (30th round). … Rice is the fourth catcher to play for Dartmouth and be taken in the draft, joining Dick Horton (1965), Mike Levy (2001) and Chris O’Dowd (2012). … Two Big Green alumni are currently playing at the major league level in RHP Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs and RHP Cole Sulser of the Baltimore Orioles.

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