Garner selected in seventh round in MLB First-Year Player Draft
Editor’s note: This story has been changed to accurately reflect the number of players who have been taken in the first 10 rounds under head coach Jake Boss Jr.
MSU junior pitcher David Garner was selected in the seventh round (No. 198 overall) by the Chicago Cubs on Friday at the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
He is the highest Spartan pitcher to be drafted since Josh Axelson was selected in the fifth round (No. 143 overall) in the 2000 draft.
MSU incoming recruit Jonah Heim from Amherst, N.Y. was drafted No. 129 in the fourth round by the Orioles. It remains to be seen whether or not Heim will attend MSU next season due to his high draft position.
Both players have until July 12 to decide whether to sign a minor-league contract or play with the Spartans next season.
Garner spoke of how playing at MSU will help his transition into the professional ranks.
“I think playing at that level of competition for three years — you can learn (and) see a lot,” Garner said. “That can make you better as a player (and help with) the transition to the next level.”
In his three seasons at MSU, Garner is 15-12 in 54 appearances, including 33 starts, with a 3.97 ERA and ranks sixth all-time in strikeouts with 192.
In his junior season, Garner was 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA and was third in the Big Ten in strikeouts with 70 and tied for first in starts with 13.
In head coach Jake Boss Jr.’s five seasons at MSU, three Spartans have been taken in the first 10 rounds and 11 players have been drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Garner emphasized the role Boss had in his development as a pitcher.
“He was huge, he taught me a lot,” Garner said. ““He matured me, and made me more ready for the next level — just within character and how to compete and to keep composure.”