Former Wayne State pitcher Jared Tobey was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 30th round of this year's MLB Draft. Tobey becomes the ninth player in program history to be drafted and the first player taken since 2011, when pitcher Brett Shankin was drafted.
Tobey finished his final season as a Warrior in spring 2018 with a 6-4 record and a 3.47 ERA, while opponents batted just .220 against him.
Tobey moved past Anthony Bass in career wins and strikeouts this season, while striking out over 10 batters in five games, including the final two games that he pitched for WSU.
Tobey said that he realized there was a good chance that he would be drafted after pitching well in front of scouts during WSU’s first games of the season.
As for what it means to be drafted by a team that he grew up watching, Tobey said, "This is a dream [come true] for me but also a dream for my parents.” Tobey said his mom started crying when he and his family received the news.
WSU baseball coach Ryan Kelley said games that Tobey pitched gave the team a lift.
"Whenever Tobey was pitching, we knew we were in a position to win that game," said Kelley.
Tobey earned a spot on the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team and graduated from the Mike Ilitch School of Business with a degree in business administration and marketing.
"I can't thank him enough for embracing the student-athlete experience," Kelley said.
Jeff Kunkel, an area scout for the Detroit Tigers, said that drafting Tobey filled a late draft goal for the team.
"We wanted to bring in a guy from [WSU]," said Kunkel. "An ultra-competitive guy with a good mix of pitches is someone you want in your organization."
Kunkel said that Tobey will join the rest of the Tigers signed draft picks at their spring training facility in Lakeland, Florida, where they will take physicals and find out what minor league team in the organization they will join.
The likely landing spots for Tobey are in Florida with the Tigers Gulf Coast League team or with the Connecticut Tigers, the Tigers’ New York-Penn League affiliate in Norwich, Connecticut.
Jack Filbrandt is a staff writer for The South End. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.