Spartan ace Waszak selected by Atlanta Braves in 22nd round of MLB Draft
After patiently waiting with anxiety, MSU pitcher Andrew Waszak knew his time had finally come when his father, who had been watching the MLB First-Year Player Draft all day, began shouting with excitement on Saturday afternoon.
“I was in my room watching TV… then my dad started yelling and screaming,” Waszak said. “It was exciting for sure.”
The Atlanta Braves selected Waszak in the 22nd round (No. 673 overall) in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Although the feeling of being drafted was surreal, Waszak said he was already aware of his standing when the Braves expressed interest in him leading up to the draft.
“I talked to them before the draft and their scout told me that they were interested in me so I knew I was on their radar,” he said.
Joining junior pitcher David Garner, Waszak becomes the second Spartan pitcher drafted this season. This marks the third consecutive year at least two Spartan pitchers have been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Incoming recruits Jonah Heim was selected in the fourth round (129th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles while Blake Higgins was drafted in the 16th round (485th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Garner, Heim and Higgins each have until July 12 to decide whether to sign a contact with the teams that drafted them or remain with the Spartans next year.
Waszak said he has already made up his mind.
“I’m comfortable with the Braves,” Waszak said. “I’m a senior, I’m going.”
Finishing his career with an 18-11 record and a 3.82 ERA, Waszak said he wouldn’t have made it as far as he has without the support of his coaches and family.
“I never have been the hardest thrower but my coaches and parents have always had my back,” Waszak said. “They’ve always known that I’ve been a hard worker and I try to be a good leader and that always pays off.”