Three Tigers were drafted on the final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Entry Draft today in right-handed pitchers Ryan Shreve and Samson Abernathy and Tyler Ryan, who played outfield at Pacific but was drafted as a catcher.
Shreve went in the 16th round to the Minnesota Twins, while the Pittsburgh Pirates used their 27th round pick to add Abernathy to their organization. Ryan went in the 38th round to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Collectively, they are respectively the 73rd, 74th and 75th Tigers to ever have their name called on draft day. Until Ryan's selection, three straight Tiger pitchers had been drafted dating back to 2018 when Shelby Lackey was taken in the 18th round by the Colorado Rockies.
Shreve is the highest drafted Tiger since 2016 when Gio Brusa went to the San Francisco Giants in the sixth round. At least one Tiger has been chosen in the last seven MLB drafts. This is the first time that multiple Tigers have been drafted since 2017 when Vince Arobio and Danny Mayer went to the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. Multiple Tigers have been drafted in five MLB Drafts this decade. Three Tigers were chosen in the 2015 and 2016 drafts as well.
Shreve put together his best season this year on his way to an All-WCC Second Team selection. The Tiger tossed the fourth no-hitter in program history against Santa Clara in April and turned his year into one of the best in the nation. The staff's workhorse was in the top-10 in the NCAA in WHIP, complete games and walks per nine innings.
Shreve's selection comes after a season in which he not only emerged as Pacific's ace but also rose to recognition as one of the League's top pitchers. He pieced together a career year in 2019 with his lowest ERA at 3.08 and put up career bests in strikeouts and innings pitched. A big part of his success came from his control, he struck out 56 batters and walked just 11 on the season. He also walked 11 batters in 2018, but threw 43.2 more innings than he did a year ago.
On April 14, the 6-foot-6-inch hurler's lethal combination of stamina and control came together in a no-hit performance against Santa Clara in a 1-0 win for the Tigers. It was the fourth no-hit performance in Pacific's history and earned him Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week honors as well as National Player of the Week honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He was also a runner-up for the D1Baseball.com Golden Spikes Performance of the Week.
For Abernathy, he joined the Tigers in the 2017-18 school year after two years at Feather River College. After making three appearances as a junior, Abernathy came on in his senior season and made 17 appearances out of the bullpen and struck out 18 batters in 18 innings of work.
Abernathy has touched 94 on the gun this year and recorded a career-high three strikeouts in a game in his final collegiate appearance against Portland on May 17. He did so in 1.1 innings of work. He also posted a career-high in innings pitched this year with 2.0 three times. Abernathy was a WCC All-Academic honors selection for his 3.63 GPA in Health and Exercise Sciences.
Ryan was selected late in the draft as the 1,151st for the Dodgers. For the last two years at Pacific, he's played as a corner outfielder but will play behind the plate in the Dodgers' organization.
After spending two years at Cuesta College, Ryan joined the Tigers prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year. He hit .271 in his first season but didn't get his power numbers going until his senior season. He hit his first career home run on March 3 against Seattle and then got his second just over a week later when he pulled a big three-run home run over the left field wall at UC Davis that completed a seven-run comeback in an 11-9 victory.
Ryan also had his first career triple this year and legged out two on the season. His 20 RBIs were the best for him in a season at Pacific and were 12 more than he had a year earlier.
The three drafted Tigers will all be assigned to minor league clubs in the coming days. Keep up with Pacific baseball on social media to find out where the Tigers land in their pro organizations.