Duplantier (7-7, 3.24) was picked by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third round as the 89th player selected. Fox (5-7, 2.72) went in the tenth round to the Milwaukee Brewers as pick No. 291 overall. It's the first time for both to be drafted by a major league franchise. The final 30 rounds of the annual MLB Draft are scheduled for Saturday (June 11).
In their time at Rice the duo improved under the daily training of Owl head coach and former major leaguer Wayne Graham. Duplantier went from not pitching in 2015 to selection as a Third Team All-America honoree by Collegiate Baseball. The right-hander ranks second among all NCAA Division I pitchers with 148 strikeouts, the sixth-highest single-season total in Rice history. He was named the 2016 Conference USA Pitcher of the Year as well as to the C-USA All-Tournament Team. The native of Katy, Texas, is eighth in the nation with 12.0 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and tied for No. 10 in the country with 16 starts. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound, standout from Seven Lakes High School worked at least 6.0 innings in all but three starts for a team-leading total of 111.0 frames. He is the highest Rice Owl selected in the MLB draft since J.T. Chargois, now the program's latest major league player, was selected 86th player taken overall by the Minnesota Twins in 2014.
Fox finished his four years at Rice as one of the most accomplished pitchers in school history, posting a career record of 31-9 and ERA of 2.54. In addition to the fifth-highest career win total in school history, Fox is tied for seventh in career starts (48) and ninth in career innings (330.0). In his senior season of 2016, Fox finished third in Conference USA with a 2.72 ERA and he was second in the league in both innings (109.1) and strikeouts (95), and ninth overall in opponents' batting average (.232). The left-hander from nearby Episcopal High School averaged more than 6.2 innings per start, but a closer look reveals that in 13 of his 16 starts his offensive teammates supported him with only a composite .212 batting average and just 2.4 runs per game.
In 2016 Rice baseball finished with a 38-24 record. The Owls advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd-straight year.