THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball saw four student-athletes selected in the second day of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.
Redshirt junior Tristin English was selected in the third round (No. 93 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks, junior Kyle McCann was selected in the fourth round (No. 134 overall) by the Oakland Athletics, junior Connor Thomas was selected in the fifth round (No. 155 overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals and Xzavion Curry was selected in the seventh round (No. 220 overall) by the Cleveland Indians.
The three selections in the first five rounds are the most since the Jackets had three in 2013. Tech’s two pitchers drafted in the first 10 rounds are its most since 2011.
A finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year, English finished the season hitting .346 with a .427 on-base percentage and ACC-leading .701 slugging. He led the team with 71 RBI, hitting 18 home runs and 20 doubles. On the mound, he recorded six saves with a 3.70 ERA and a 3-0 record through 15 appearances. He finishes his Tech career with a .313 batting average, 58 doubles, 29 home runs and a .991 fielding percentage, while offering a 3.98 career ERA with 71 strikeouts. The Williamson, Ga. native was just the third Yellow Jacket to be named to the all-ACC first team three times, joining Jason Varitek and Eric Patterson.
A finalist for the Buster Posey Catcher of the Year award and semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, McCann finished as the ACC’s home run leader with 23 on the season, also ranking in the top five of seven other offensive categories in the ACC, including ranking third in RBI (70), walks (62) and on-base percentage (.469). He also broke Mark Teixeira’s single-season Tech record for most intentional walks, drawing 18 in 2019. A two-time all-ACC selection, the Suwanee, Ga. native finishes with 47 career home runs (tied-fifth all-time at Tech), 136 RBI and a .276 average.
A first-team all-ACC pitcher this season, Thomas pitched a conference-leading 113.0 innings with three complete games and two shutouts. His two shutouts were accomplished in less than 97 pitches. With a 103 strikeouts in 2019, the portsider became the first Tech pitcher to have 100 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons since Buck Farmer (2012-13), finishing the year with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.4:1. He finished 2019 with a 3.11 ERA and 9-2 record. The Omega, Ga. native set the program record for fewest walks/9 innings at 1.55 over 220.1 career innings, walking just 38 batters in 38 appearances.
A third-team all-ACC selection, Curry finished 2019 with a 4.08 ERA and four wins in an injury-shortened season. Curry started the season strong, becoming the first Yellow Jacket in the modern era (1973-present) to win three-straight Opening Day starts and only the second to start three-straight Opening Days. Curry shined when he threw 8.0 innings of one-hit, one-run baseball against then-No. 4 Louisville, retiring 16-straight batters at one point and striking out nine for the win. Since 2002, he ranks third at Georgia Tech in most looking strikeouts with 84 and fourth with 241 strikeouts. In 40 career starts, the Atlanta, Ga. native worked to a 4.53 ERA and threw one complete-game shutout and three combined shutouts in 232.2 innings of work.
Tech’s selections mark the 39th-straight season in which a Georgia Tech student-athlete has been picked in the MLB Draft, a streak that began in 1981 with the selection of first baseman Tommy Thompson by the Kansas City Royals.