Waszak, Garner and recruits selected in MLB First-Year Player Draft
For many high school, junior college and college baseball players, last weekend represented a dream come true.
Two current Spartans and two MSU recruits were among many taken in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which took place last week from June 6-8.
Garner is the highest MSU pitcher to be drafted since Josh Axelson went to the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth round (No. 143 overall) in the 2000 draft.
Garner said his time at MSU should aid his transition into professional baseball.
“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.”
MSU incoming recruit Jonah Heim from Amherst, N.Y., was drafted No. 129 in the fourth round by the Orioles on the same day. Due to his high draft position, it remains to be seen if Heim will play for MSU next season.
Waszak was alerted of his selection from his exuberant father, who was following the draft in a different room.
“I was in my room watching TV… then my dad started yelling and screaming,” Waszak said. “It was exciting for sure.”
Waszak’s selection marks the third-consecutive year at least two Spartan pitchers have been selected in the draft.
Incoming recruit Blake Higgins was drafted in the 16th round (No. 485th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
Besides Waszak, the three draftees have until July 12 to decide whether to sign a minor-league contract or play for MSU next year.
Waszak already has indicated that he plans to play for the Atlanta Braves next year. Garner also seems to be leaning toward signing with the Cubs.
This year’s draft marks the 10th-straight year a Spartan has been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. In head coach Jake Boss Jr.’s five seasons, 11 Spartans have been drafted. Of those 11 players, three were picked in the top 10 rounds (Jonathan Roof in round eight in 2010; Torsten Boss in round eight of 2012; Garner in round seven of 2013).
When incoming players are factored in, the number of total Spartans drafted in the past three increases to 15.