June 7, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State right-handed pitcher David Garner was selected in the seventh round (No. 198 overall) of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Garner is the highest drafted Spartan pitcher since Josh Axelson was selected in the fifth round (No. 143 overall) by St. Louis in 2000. Garner is also the highest drafted Spartan since Bob Malek was chosen in the fourth round (No. 117) by the New York Mets in 2002.
The deadline for drafted players to sign a contract with a Major League team is July 12.
"When I got drafted out of high school, it was a great feeling and a great accomplishment, but getting drafted later in my life is more of a realization that it could actually happen (playing professional baseball)," said Garner. "The Cubs called me and asked me what I was doing, and I told them I just got back from the zoo. They asked if I had been watching the draft, and I said no. So they filled me in and told me they took me in the seventh round. It's a great feeling and I cherish it. My mom was really excited. It was good to see a smile like that on her face."
"David is a very talented young man who was drafted previously out of high school," said Michigan State baseball head coach Jake Boss. "He's got a big arm and it's been fun to watch him learn how to get guys out over the last three years. He really developed his breaking ball and understood how to compete and pitch at the Division I level, and I think he will use that and have success at the next level. I think he's very prepared. He's not only talented, but he's even a better human being, so we're very happy for David."
In just three seasons, Garner ranks sixth all-time at MSU in strikeouts with 192. He owns a career record of 15-12 in 54 appearances, including 33 starts, in 217 2/3 innings pitched with a 3.97 ERA.
In 2013, Garner went 4-5 with a 4.10 ERA. He tied for first in the Big Ten in starts with 13 and was third in strikeouts with 70. His best start came in a 6-1 win at the hands of No. 7 Kentucky on March 9, as he went 8 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on four hits against the Wildcats.
Against Illinois, Garner had a career-high 10 strikeouts and allowed just three runs while earning a no-decision.
As a sophomore, Garner saw action as both a starter and a reliever, but started in the No. 3 spot in the rotation beginning in mid-April. He compiled a 6-3 record with a 3.28 ERA (11 starts, 20 appearances) and in his 11 starts, had a 6-1 record with a 3.06 ERA. He ranked seventh in the Big Ten with 75 strikeouts and was fourth in hits allowed with 64. Against No. 25 Baylor, he threw six shutout innings and struck out four to earn the win.
Garner was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2011 and collected a 5-4 record with a 4.62 ERA in 20 appearances, including eight starts. He ranked third on the team with five wins and was also third on the team in strikeouts (47) and appearances (20) and fourth on the team with 60.1 innings pitched. He was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after striking out seven batters in 6 2/3 innings in the win over Pittsburgh on March 13.
In addition to Garner, incoming signee Jonah Heim (Amherst, N.Y./Amherst Central High School), a 6-4, 195-pound switch-hitting catcher, was drafted in the fourth round (No. 129 overall) by the Baltimore Orioles.
This marks the 10th straight year a Spartan has been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. In five seasons under Boss, 11 Spartans have been drafted, including three top-10 picks (Jonathan Roof, eighth round, 2010; Torsten Boss, eighth round, 2012; Garner, seventh round, 2013). Including incoming signees, Michigan State has had 15 players drafted in the past three seasons.
The MLB Draft continues on Friday through round 10 and resumes Saturday at 1 p.m. with rounds 11-40. Follow live at MLB.com.