June 8, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State righthander Andrew Waszak was selected in the 22nd round (No. 673 overall) of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon.
"I was shell shocked and its surreal," Andrew Waszak said. "It's weird to say I'm a professional athlete. It was emotional (being) with my parents, we were all excited and happy. I can't be more excited the way it happened today. I was talking with my sister on the phone and said it probably won't settle in until I step off that plane to wherever I will report too. It's a dream come true."
"It's awesome," Waszak said about the history of the Braves. "I was talking with them before the draft and was pumped to be on their radar. They've had so many big-time pitchers come through their organization and they build from within. I can't be more excited to be a part of that."
The deadline for drafted players to sign a contract with a Major League team is July 12.
"We're very excited for Andrew," said MSU baseball head coach Jake Boss. "He's an outstanding young man who really works harder than maybe anyone that I've ever coached. He's an excellent leader and a tremendous young man. He's very deserving of all the success that he's had during his career. I know he's ready for the challenge of competing at the next level in professional baseball - it's something that's been a dream of his for a long time. We're very honored to have played a small part in helping him achieve that goal."
Waszak, a senior from Rochester, Mich., was a third-team All-Big Ten selection and was named the Robin Roberts Most Valuable Pitcher for the 2013 season. Waszak ranked among conference leaders in nine categories; fourth in innings pitched (91.2), fourth in strikeouts looking (22), fifth in ERA (2.36), seventh in opponent batting average (.234), eighth in walks allowed (18), ninth in wins (6), ninth in earned runs allowed (22), 11th in strikeouts (57) and 11th in runs allowed (32).
Out of 13 starts, 12 were quality appearances and he threw at least six innings in all 13 starts. He tossed two complete games this season and was named Big Ten Picher of the Week twice. He was recognized after allowing just one run and seven hits in eight innings against Indiana. Against Purdue, he allowed seven hits in his second complete game of the season and needed only 88 pitches to do so.
Waszak finished his career with an 18-11 record and a 3.82 ERA. His 2013 season was his finest, turning in career-bests in ERA, wins, earned runs, strikeouts, and opponent batting average.
As a junior, he compiled a 4-4 record with a 2.96 ERA as the No. 2 starter in the rotation and tied for the best Big Ten mark with 16 starts. He also ranked among the Big Ten leaders in innings pitched (second with 106.1), opposing batting average (tied for sixth with .238) and ERA (eighth at 2.96). The 106.1 innings pitched were second most in school history.
In 2011 he had a 4-3 record and 4.79 ERA in 14 appearances. He ranked third on the team in innings pitched (62.0) and starts (12), while also recording 29 strikeouts.
In his freshman season, he went 4-1 and struck out 39 batters and only walked 15 in 46.0 innings of work.
Incoming transfer Blake Higgins was selected in the 16th round (No. 485) by the St. Louis Cardinals. He joins incoming signee Jonah Heim (Amherst, N.Y./Amherst Central High School), who was drafted in the fourth round (No. 129 overall) by the Baltimore Orioles.
This marks the third consecutive year that at least two Spartan pitchers have been selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Joining David Garner, Waszak becomes the 12th Spartan drafted in five seasons under Boss, 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 16 players drafted in the past three seasons.
The MLB Draft continues on Saturday through round 40. Follow live at MLB.com.