DENVER, Co. (KSNW) – Austin Callahan became the first Hutchinson Community College baseball player selected in the MLB Draft in three seasons on Tuesday.
Callahan was selected in the 18th round with the 540th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds on the final day of the three-day draft, which was held in Denver in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Game.
Callahan, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound freshman from Fremont, Nebraska, is the first Blue Dragon taken in the draft since Nolan Hoffman, Michael Helman and Bobby Milacki were drafted in 2018.
The 2021 Blue Dragon third baseman is the 38th HutchCC player in program history selected in the MLB Draft. Another 13 Blue Dragons were signed to undrafted free agent contracts.
Callahan is the first Blue Dragon to be drafted by the Reds’ organization. Cincinnati did sign a pair of Blue Dragons to undrafted free agent contracts – Scott Harrell in 1997 and Jeff Nelson in 1977. Nelson is the first Blue Dragon in program history to move into professional baseball with his signing.
Callahan, who had signed a four-year letter-of-intent to play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, had a huge season in 2021 for the Blue Dragons, a season that was shortened because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Over 54 games this past season, Callahan put together a season that produced six Top 10 Blue Dragon single-season statistical finishes.
Callahan was Hutchinson’s leading hitter as the Blue Dragons captured the 2021 Jayhawk West championship and advanced to the Region VI Sub-Regional final against Colby. The Blue Dragons were 37-17 in 2021.
Most notably, Callahan hammered 21 home runs this season, third most in Hutchinson single-season history (Caden Doga had 31 in 2016 and Zane Schmidt had 22 in 2019). Callahan ranked second in the Jayhawk Conference and tied for seventh in the NJCAA in home runs. His 24 career homers are fifth on the Blue Dragon career list.
For the season, Callahan hit a team-high .422, going 84 for 199 this past season. That included 19 doubles, two triples, 21 home runs, 75 RBIs and 69 runs scored.
His 84 hits and 19 doubles both tied for eighth in Blue Dragon single-season history. He ranked seventh on Hutch’s single-season RBI list. And his .854 slugging percentage was fifth-best in team single-season history.
Callahan hit safely in 45 of 54 games played. He put together a season-high 15-game hitting streak, which was fifth-longest in team history. Callahan had 26 multi-hit games, including nine of three or more hits in a single game.
The Blue Dragon third baseman had a career-high seven RBIs against Dodge City on May 8. His 10 total bases in that game tied for seventh most in single-game history. Callahan had three four-hit games this season against Coffeyville, Pratt and Allen. He had three two-home run games against Cowley, State Fair and Dodge City.
Callahan earned first-team All-Jayhawk West and All-Region VI honors and was an NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American in the 2021 season.
Callahan is the 12th Blue Dragon – 10 drafted, 2 signed at UDFAs – coached by Ryan Schmidt to have the opportunity to move into professional baseball.