Left-handed pitcher Brent Suter '12 was one of three Harvard baseball players selected in this year's MLB Draft. Only in one other year (1993) have three Crimson ballplayers been taken in the same draft.
The Harvard baseball team’s 2012 regular season did not go well—the squad finished 10-32—but the Crimson’s fortunes have changed considerably since the year came to an end.
First, there was the viral “Call Me Maybe” YouTube video, which put the team in the national spotlight and has been viewed nearly 12 million times. Then, on Wednesday, a trio of Harvard standouts was selected on the third and final day of the MLB Draft.
First, the Milwaukee Brewers selected starting pitcher Brent Suter ’12 in the 31st round as the 965th pick overall.
“It was definitely a nerve-racking day,” Suter said. “I kept on waiting and waiting; when it finally happened there was just a sense of relief and a ton of excitement and a lot of happiness. You can’t beat it.”
Five picks later, rising junior captain Andrew Ferreira was chosen by the Minnesota Twins as the second selection in the 32nd round.
“I was pretty surprised,” Ferreira said. “I threw for a [Twins scout] about two weeks ago and I did pretty well, but when I woke up in the morning, I didn’t expect anything.... I was in a Wal-Mart in Alaska—because I’m playing in a summer league here—when he gave me a call and said I was drafted. It was one of the coolest moments of my life so far. It was pretty surreal."
And in the 38th round—just two before the draft came to a close—the New York Mets took infielder Jeff Reynolds ’12 with the 1,160th overall selection.
“From the beginning, I was just hoping to get drafted, so I knew it would probably be in the later rounds,” Reynolds said. “Towards the end, I was definitely getting a little bit anxious, but [now] I’m just totally ecstatic.”
This year marked the first time since 1993 and only the second time in Harvard baseball history that three Crimson players were chosen in the same draft. Before Wednesday, only three total Harvard players had been selected in the past five years—most recently starting pitcher Max Pearlman ’11, who was taken in the 35th round by the Oakland A’s last season and reached AAA before the year was up.
Suter, a left-handed starter, led the Crimson with 53.2 innings pitched during the 2012 campaign, finishing with a 4.36 ERA and team-high 45 strikeouts. Getting drafted by the Brewers means that as the Cincinnati, Ohio, native moves through the minors, he will have the chance to play relatively close to home.
“I really admire their organization,” he said. “They have a very good minor league system, so I can’t wait to get started. Hopefully I’ll have some success there, and we’ll just see what happens.”
Ferreira’s selection marked the culmination of a comeback season in which he served as team captain despite only being a sophomore. The left-hander, whose brother Ethan is a rising sophomore on the Crimson, missed the entire 2011 campaign due to injury but returned with a bang in 2012, holding hitters to a .196 batting average against with 35 K’s. Now, the Rehoboth, Mass., native could soon be taking his talents to the Midwest.
“It’s definitely pretty exciting,” he said. “I’ve heard [the Twins] have a great organization for pitchers. Just to be drafted by any team is pretty awesome and a childhood dream of mine, so I’m just really happy.”
Ferreira, the first Crimson non-senior to be selected in a decade, will now have to decide whether to sign with Minnesota or to return to Harvard with the hopes of getting chosen in an earlier round in the future.
“If I had to decide right now, I’d probably come back to school—I have two more years left, and I got drafted pretty late,” Ferreira said. “But I don’t know. I think a lot depends on how I do in Alaska over the next month and a half, so I’ll take it day by day.”