PORTLAND, Maine – For the past year and a half, Kris Prather has been one of the hottest bowlers on the PBA Tour. On Monday, his success on the lanes was rewarded by being the first pick at the 2019 PBA League Draft.
Just weeks removed from winning his first career PBA Tour title, Prather was taken by the Portland Lumberjacks with the top pick in front of the hometown crowd at Bayside Bowl.
Prather was the highest ranked player on the PBA points list who was not on a team. He’s finished in the top 10 five times so far this season and won the PBA Scorpion Championship.
He joins Kyle Troup, Wes Malott, Ryan Ciminelli and second-round draft pick Mitch Hupe on the Lumberjacks roster. The Lumberjacks earned the top pick in the draft after finishing last in the PBA League last season.
Dick Allen, who has two PBA Tour titles this season, was selected second, which was broadcast live on FloBowling, and joins Jason Belmonte, Jakob Butturff, Stu Williams and second-round pick Anthony Lavery-Spahr on the L.A. X.
All eight PBA League teams had the option to protect up to three players from their 2018 rosters and filled out the remaining spots during Monday’s draft.
There were 21 players eligible for 17 draft spots by finishing the first half of the PBA season among the top 40 in points. Jake Peters, Nick Pate, Zach Wilkins and Thomas Larsen went undrafted.
Four players outside the top 40 in points were protected creating the scenario where four players inside that number would not be drafted. Those players were Ryan Ciminelli, Matt Sanders, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.
Teams now have two weeks to make any trades before the trade deadline.
Also, at the conclusion of the draft, PBA Commissioner and CEO Tom Clark announced that the league will expand from eight teams to 10 teams in 2020.
Here are the complete rosters for the 2019 PBA League season:
Protected: Kyle Troup, Wes Malott and Ryan Ciminelli
Drafted: Kris Prather and Mitch Hupe
New York City KingPins
Protected: Marshall Kent, BJ Moore and Pete Weber
Drafted: Kyle Sherman and Darren Tang
Silver Lake Atom Splitters
Protected: Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson and Tom Daugherty
Drafted: DJ Archer and AJ Johnson
Protected: Sean Rash and Walter Ray Williams Jr.
Drafted: Rhino Page, Andres Gomez and Brad Angelo
Protected: EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen and Josh Blanchard
Drafted: AJ Chapman and Mykel Holliman
Protected: Jason Belmonte, Jakob Butturff and Stu Williams
Drafted: Dick Allen and Anthony Lavery-Spahr
Protected: Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood and Matt Sanders
Drafted: Shawn Maldonado and Patrick Girard
Protected: Norm Duke, Tommy Jones and Bill O’Neill
Drafted: Andrew Anderson and Brad Miller