The Pittsburgh Pirates took left hander Dalton Friend in the 12th round. Friend was 11-0 with a 2.94 ERA to go with a dominant 68 strikeouts in 46 innings this year at Jefferson College, Missouri. He also picked up a win in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series.
His velocity spiked this season into the 90-94 mph range. That can be imposing coming from a 6’3″ 235 pounder. Perfect Game said he was the the dominant JC player in the state of Missouri.
In this article, Friend said he was surprised:
“It was totally out of the blue,” Friend said of the call from Pittsburgh informing him he has been drafted. “They called me last Friday and talked to me a little then. But we didn’t hear from them again until (Tuesday), when they drafted me.”
The article stated that Friend thought he would go in rounds 4-8.
Then in Round 12 the Pirates came calling.
“That caught us all off guard,” Friend said. “They’re not one of the teams we had been talking to.”
Friend missed the 2011 season with a labrum injury.
“I think a lot of teams were worried about the shoulder surgery I had last year,” he said. “And I missed a couple of starts this year because of soreness.”
Friend has a commitment to Texas Tech University. But this quote at the end of the article is interesting.
“I’m sure I’ll be on the phone a lot the next few days, they didn’t throw out any numbers and we didn’t throw out any numbers yet. I hope it all can be worked out.