ULM’s Bell, Tingelstad, Jeans selected in 2019 MLB Draft
Monroe, La. – Senior third baseman Chad Bell, junior outfielder Trent Tingelstad and senior left-handed pitcher Trey Jeans were each selected on the third day of the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
It marks the first time since 2012 that three Warhawks were selected in a single MLB Draft, when shortstop Jeremy Sy (12th round), pitcher Randy Zeigler (19th round) and first baseman Joey Rapp (28th round) were all selected by the San Francisco Giants. It is just the fifth time in program history that at least three players have been selected in a single draft (2019, 2012, 2004, 2000, 1987). ULM has now had at least one player selected in the draft in six consecutive years.
“It’s a huge step forward,” said head coach Michael Federico. “We’ve got talented kids that can help us win games, that can come and be contributors to our community, and then have an opportunity to make it to the big leagues. Every kid that grows up wants to have that opportunity. We had three of them. That’s more than we had last year. That’s more than there’s been in a couple years here. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Bell was the first Warhawk off the board, going in the 19th round with the 585th overall pick to the New York Yankees. The senior was the offensive leader for ULM in 2019, setting the single-season school record with 21 home runs. He also ranks second in a single-season with 159 total bases and tied for fourth with 61 RBIs. Bell hit safely in 23 of his final 24 games, and connected for 13 home runs over the course of his final 20 games. He was a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection and also made the Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament Team.
“It’s hard to put it into words on how excited I was.” Bell said. “So many things went into my dream of playing professional baseball and seeing that dream come to reality was pretty special. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Yankees organization. I’m thankful for them giving me this opportunity and I am excited to get going.”
“Chad put a superb year together in every facet, from the offensive side to the defensive side, to the team leadership and all of that,” Federico said. “Couldn’t think of a more deserving young man to get this opportunity. I know he’s excited to move on to his career. He and Jeans both graduated as well. What a great way to not only get your degree, but have an opportunity to go play professionally.”
Bell spent three seasons at ULM, and says he enjoyed his time in Monroe.
“My time at ULM has meant the world to me,” Bell said. “The people I have met and the experiences I’ve had have helped me become the person I am today. I was able to focus on baseball with little distractions and I’m proud to be a Warhawk.”
Tingelstad went three rounds later, with the Seattle Mariners picking him with the 666th overall pick in the 22nd round. He led the Warhawks with a .353 batting average while hitting 19 doubles, four triples and seven home runs and drove in 46 runs. He capped his career with a strong showing at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which included a career-high seven RBIs in an 18-5 win over UT Arlington.
“It was an amazing moment to see my name pop up on the board,” Tingelstad said. “I didn’t know if it was going to happen today and I’m very glad it did.”
The added bonus for Tingelstad is the chance to play for his favorite childhood team. Tingelstad hails from Marysville, Wash., which sits north of Seattle.
“It is awesome because I grew up in the backyard pretending to be a Mariner,” he said. “To be in their organization is a great feeling.”
“I think Bell and Tingelstad really helped each other out, as far as having protection in the lineup, just like (Andrew) Beesley protected them on the backside,” Federico said.
Tingelstad is a junior, which means he has a choice between signing with the Mariners and forgoing his senior season, or returning to ULM for one more year.
“You know that you’re going to get into these situations when you bring in talented junior college guys,” Federico said. “I’m excited for his opportunity. We sold him that in the recruiting side for the future. Now he has the opportunity to go back to the team that he grew up following, which is pretty neat.”
Tingelstad says he wasn’t worried about improving his draft stock during the season.
“I focused on the team first because I had no clue throughout the season where I stood from the draft standpoint,” Tingelstad said. “I tried to help the team win as many games as we could and try to make the best of my college baseball experience.”
Jeans was the final Warhawk off the board, going in the 33rd round with the 980th pick to the Chicago White Sox. A month into the 2019 season, Jeans became the leader of the ULM pitching staff. The senior lefty from Texarkana, Ark., took over the Friday night starting role in the second Sun Belt Conference series of the season at Texas State, and never let go. Jeans matched junior Ty Barnes with five wins, and led the team with a 3.76 ERA over a team-best 79 innings. He recorded 69 strikeouts to 37 walks. He ranked second in the Sun Belt in opponent batting average at .213 and was sixth in ERA. In the final outing of his ULM career, Jeans tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings, giving up just three hits with three walks in an 8-0 win over top-seed and regular season champion Texas State at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Conway, S.C.
Federico says Jeans’ durability played a role into his draft stock.
“I think two straight years of not missing a start and starting every game on a weekend, last year he threw on Saturdays and Sundays,” Federico said. “He toed the rubber every time we asked him to do it. He gave us an opportunity to win each time with the number of innings that he threw. He had a lot of quality starts in there. He’s a diligent worker and bought into his routine and put himself in that position.”