A Glimpse at Harvard Baseball Alumni On the Road to the Show

Outside the Bubble
Oakland Athletics prospect, Mike Martin, rounds the bases against Northeastern in 2015's Beanpot.

Life after Harvard—it’s a goal that many students invest time, resources, and energy into pursuing. The future is an exciting unknown. The possibilities of what it holds can drive students through problem sets, finals, and everything in between.

From all over the world, young people come here to learn. And all over the world, graduates scatter to use new knowledge in the best ways possible.

For 10 former Crimson baseball players, life after Harvard has led to the same place—professional baseball. As the alumni take to diamonds around the globe, they are not only bolstering the Crimson name but also following dreams that, for some, date back to early childhood.

“Harvard definitely is a place that promotes excellence in whatever you do,” said former Crimson infielder Jake McGuiggan. “Just being able to be around so many people, not only students and professors but also other athletes that were striving to be the best at what they did, really gave me the mindset to try to get better at baseball and work harder to get to the next level once I was out of school.”

BRENT SUTER ’12

Brent Suter, a left-handed pitcher from Cincinnati, earned first team All-Ivy honors during his senior year at Harvard. Thanks to that performance, Suter was drafted in the 31st round of the 2012 Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 27-year-old made his major league debut on Aug. 19, 2016, at Safeco Field in Seattle. He is the only former Crimson player currently on an MLB team’s 40-man roster. Suter completed the 2016 season with a 3.32 ERA in 14 appearances with the Brew Crew. In 2017, he has made three appearances out of the Milwaukee bullpen.

NICK GRUENER

After arriving at Harvard in the fall of 2013 out of Miami Palmetto High School, right-hander Nick Gruener spent three seasons with the Crimson before he was drafted last June in the 22nd round of the MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

“I decided I would stay for the fall semester, and then take the spring semester off to come play,” Gruener said. “I’ll come back and graduate in the fall. It’s been a pretty awesome experience living out the whole boyhood dream.”

The righty recorded a combined ERA of 4.28 during his time at Harvard, with a career best of 2.76 last season as a member of Harvard’s “Two Aces” starting rotation. Gruener posted 122 total strikeouts in his three seasons, 49 of which came during his junior campaign. His performance on the mound earned him a second-team All-Ivy selection.

“I think what Harvard taught me in general is just how to have an open mind about everything,” Gruener said. “That’s probably the number-one thing that everyone learns there because there are students coming from all around the country and all around the world. It was the same way when I came into the program with the Orioles.”

TANNER ANDERSON ’15

Tanner Anderson came to Cambridge from Tampa, Fla. While playing for the Crimson, the right-handed pitcher posted a combined ERA of 5.41 and struck out 59 total batters. Despite his stats not jumping off the page, Anderson earned second-team all-Ivy honors after his sophomore season.The righty was selected in the 20th round of the 2015 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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