June 6, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State junior right-handed reliever Tony Wieber was selected in the 33rd round (No. 1,005 overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.
In addition to Wieber, incoming signees Justin Alleman and Cam Gibson were also selected in the draft. Alleman was chosen by the Kansas City Royals (18th round, No. 553 overall), while Gibson was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks (38th round, No. 1173 overall).
The deadline for drafted players to sign a contract with a Major League team is July 13.
Wieber is Michigan State's all-time saves leader with 18 and owns an 11-2 career record and 3.72 ERA in his three seasons as a Spartan.
"I was on the phone with the Padres when my name came up," said Wieber. "I didn't really see it at first but my mom was here and she started yelling, so it was pretty cool. I had to go back and look at it to make sure it was real. Once I saw it on there, it was pretty special."
Wieber ranked second in the Big Ten this season with a career-high nine saves, which tied for the second most in an MSU single-season. In addition, Wieber led the team with 25 appearances - tied for fourth most in an MSU season - and had a 2-2 record with a 2.22 ERA. He struck out 23 batters in 28 1/3 innings pitched.
The Grand Ledge, Mich., native became MSU's all-time saves leader on April 1 as he recorded his 15th career save in the 2-1 win over Ohio State. He also delivered the game-winning hit with an RBI single in the seventh inning against the Buckeyes. In the 13-inning win over Michigan on April 8, Wieber finished the game by pitching 3 2/3 shutout innings to earn his first win of the season. Prior to the start of the season, Wieber was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award watch list.
"Tony is a competitor who wants the ball at the end of the game," said Michigan State head coach Jake Boss. "He has a good arm; he's a 90-to-92 mph right-hander with a good breaking ball, and his slider and changeup have gotten a lot better. He's going to come right at hitters and he's going to locate."
Wieber also saw time in right field (10 starts), left field (two starts), and as a designated hitter (seven starts) for the Spartans in 2012. In 190 career at-bats, he has compiled a .279 batting average with 14 doubles and 31 RBIs.
A third-team All-Big Ten selection as a relief pitcher in 2011, Wieber led the team and ranked fourth in the Big Ten with eight saves last season. As a freshman in 2010, Wieber went a perfect 4-0 in 12 appearances, including three starts.
Alleman signed a National Letter of Intent with the Spartans last November. A four-year letterwinner under Coach Nate Potts at Holt High School, Alleman was rated the No. 1 player in the state of Michigan by Perfect Game and was recently ranked the No. 3 prospect (high school and college players) in the state and No. 318 nationally by Baseball America. Alleman was also rated the No. 104 player overall and the 38th-best pitcher nationally by Perfect Game among high school players.
"Justin is a very athletic kid with a big arm, and he has a very good breaking ball," said Boss. "He's really improved his game over the last year as far as his location, and his breaking ball has gotten a lot better as well. He can thrown 90-to-94 mph off the mound and really maintain that velocity throughout the course of a ballgame. He has a bright future ahead of him."
Alleman is a two-time selection to the Lansing State Journal Dream Team and will almost certainly be named to the squad again in 2012 after an outstanding senior season. In last Saturday's district final against Grand Ledge, Alleman struck out 18 batters in leading the Rams (29-4) to the regionals. Alleman also recorded a victory over Grand Ledge with a one-hit shutout while fanning 16 as Holt won the CAAC Blue title on May 17, and he has thrown no-hitters against Lansing Eastern (April 26) and Okemos (May 10).
Gibson also signed a NLI with Michigan State in November. He is a four-year letterwinner under Coach Dan Griesbaum at Grosse Pointe South High School and earned first-team Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Division 1 all-state honors as a junior in 2011 while helping lead Grosse Pointe South to a district title. Gibson had a .414 batting average with 32 runs, 13 doubles, seven homers and 40 RBIs last season.
Prior to this season, Gibson was named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-America Team and also to the preseason ESPNHS all-state team. His father, Kirk, is the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and was an All-American in football (1978) and baseball (1978) at Michigan State.
"Cam is a hard-nosed competitor who plays the game the right way," said Boss. "He has some power in his left-handed bat, and he runs very well in the outfield and on the base paths. He's a tremendous athlete and has excelled in hockey in the past as a member of the Honeybaked National Championship team. He has a competitive fire that's contagious to his teammates."
In four seasons under Boss, 10 Spartans have been drafted, the most during a four-year span at Michigan State since 1989-92 (11). Including incoming signees, Michigan State has had 13 players drafted in the past two seasons.