Wolff, Garver Selected on Second Day of MLB Draft
June 7, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two more University of New Mexico baseball players were selected in the second day of the MLB Draft Friday, as Sam Wolff was taken in the 6th round (190 overall) by the Texas Rangers and Mitch Garver was taken in the ninth round (No. 260 overall) by the Minnesota Twins.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Wolff. “You work your entire life for this and now it’s finally happening. Being a senior and finishing my Lobo career and to get to continue on playing baseball is amazing.”
Wolff, a senior who had previously been drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 42nd round in 2009 and by the Red Sox in the 47th round in 2011, was the unquestioned ace of UNM’s staff this season. He posted a 7-3 record and a 2.90 ERA in 16 starts spanning 93.0 innings. He struck out 75 and walked 39 while holding opponents to a .243 batting average against.
“He throws 97 and he can locate his fastball,” UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. “He got better every game locating his fastball. He also got a better feel for his off-speed pitches, and our pitching coach (Dan Spencer) did a great job with him.”
Wolff continued to improve as the season went along and was pitching his best at the end of the year. In his last seven starts spanning 46.1 innings he allowed just six runs, five earned, and struck out 38 while walking just 15. He struck out a career-high seven batters four different times during that stretch, including against Arizona St. in the Fullerton regional on May 31. He is the eighth highest draft pick in school history.
Garver, also a senior but who had never been drafted before, was named Mountain West Co-Player of the Year and a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the second year in a row. He hit .390 with six home runs and 68 RBI. He led the team with 96, added 21 doubles and five triples, and recorded a 26-game hitting streak, the sixth longest in school history.
“Mitch Garver is the poster child for UNM baseball,” Birmingham said. “He’s a New Mexico kid (out of La Cueva High School in Albuquerque), he was a walk-on, he was a kid who came here to learn how to play, and he did.”
Earlier this season Garver set a new Lobo record for consecutive games played and finished his career with 181 straight starts. He also recorded the most hits at UNM by a catcher, finishing his career with 284.
“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to play for the Twins,” he said. “It’s a great organization and I can’t wait to get started.”
The draft concludes Saturday with rounds 11-40. The opportunity remains for several more Lobos to get drafted.