Three Eagle baseball players, all underclassmen, were taken in last week’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
The Colorado Rockies picked up Georgia Southern University junior Sam Howard in the third round, while the St. Louis Cardinals selected junior Josh Wirsu in the 30th round, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected junior Eric Alonzo in the 40th round.
Howard, a six-foot-three-inch lefty from Cartersville, had a solid season as the team’s No. 1 starter going 7-6 with a 2.53 ERA.
The junior southpaw first appeared on scouts’ radars after spending last summer in the Cape Cod Summer League, the most prestigious college summer league.
Along with that, Howard left a mighty impression in the minds of scouts as the draft neared when he pitched a complete game shutout against No. 5 nationally ranked Florida State University in the NCAA regionals.
He also was an integral part of the 2014 Southern Conference Championship coming on in the ninth to earn the win for the Eagles.
Howard was previously drafted back in 2011 in the 48th round by the Chicago Cubs.
Wirsu was named Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year after posting a 9-3 record to go along with a 2.44 ERA in 16 starts with the Eagles. He was the second GSU starting pitcher to be drafted this year.
Alonzo made 27 appearances out of the bullpen this season for Georgia Southern after transferring in from Middle Georgia State College. The junior went 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA and 42 strikeouts spaced through 52.1 innings.
These juniors have the option to sign with the clubs that selected them or opt to return for their senior season by the July 18th deadline.