If you thought that Rhody baseball wouldn’t see a player drafted this season just because they had a down year, think again. Rhode Island pitcher Ty Sterner was the first (but hopefully not last) Ram selected in the 2014 MLB Draft this afternoon as he was nabbed by the Cincinnati Reds in the 23rd round.
— MLB Draft Tracker (@MLBDraftTracker) June 7, 2014
Sterner was the 695th overall selection as part of the third and final day of this year’s draft.
The big lefty just completed his junior season at URI, finishing the year at 0-7 with a 5.43 ERA. Not exactly eye-catching numbers, but Sterner was selected based more on his ceiling than anything else. This year, his first as a starter, Sterner struck out 8.31 batters per game, good for best on the team. And although he didn’t record a win, his final start of 2014 was probably his most impressive. Against Richmond, Sterner went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out 11 (a career-high).
That wasn’t the only notable performance of the season by the Worcester, MA native, however. Back on April 25, Sterner allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits in seven and a third innings against VCU, although he only fanned four in that one. Another highly underrated part of Sterner’s game is his ability to hold runners on. It’s not that surprising given that Ty is a lefty, but basestealers only had a 46.2 percent success rate against Sterner. That number includes a team-high seven pick-offs this season – no other URI pitcher had more than five.
The only downside here is that Rhode Island will lose one of their most reliable starting pitchers… if Sterner decides to sign with the Reds, of course. But that comes with the territory when you have a coach like Jim Foster who can recruit and develop big league talent.
Congrats to Ty Sterner, and best wishes for a successful professional career. GO RHODY!