Three Nevada baseball standouts could be headed to the big leagues.
Right handed pitcher Grant Ford was selected in the 5th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
During his two years at Nevada, Ford posted a 7.88 ERA with 51 walks in 88 innings pitched with a 1.81 WHIP. But 2019 was a different story. Ford worked exclusively as a relief pitcher and was absolutely dominant. He went 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA and five saves. The right handed pitcher struck out 51 batter in 45.2 innings and cut down his walk rate from 9.0 walks per nine innings last season to 2.56 walks per nine innings this season. He also cut his WHIP from 2.32 last season to 0.99 this year. That improved production combined with raw stuff and a solid frame.
On Wednesday, Sparks native Ryan Anderson was selected in the 12th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees.
Anderson was expected to be drafted following a dominant senior season at Spanish Springs (he had a 0.91 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 61.1 innings) in 2016, but that never materialized (he was planning on attending college anyway). Anderson is a 6-6 lefty who can run it up to 90 miles per hour. The Spanish Springs alum served as Nevada's Friday starter the entire season and got off to a strong start, posting a 2.66 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 40.2 innings in his first seven starts. The second seven starts (7.80 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 30 innings) were not as strong, but Anderson has averaged nearly a strikeout an inning over his college career.
Nevada utility player Jaylon McLaughlin was selected in the 37th round by the Chicago Cubs.
The outfielder was selected in the 2016 draft in the 38th round by the New York Mets. McLaughlin has excellent speed and position versatility having played shortstop and center field at Nevada, where he's improved in each of his three seasons. In 2019, he hit .339 (up from .212 as a freshman) with 25 steals against four times being caught stealing. McLaughlin cut his strikeout rate to a more reasonable figure this season (17 percent, down from 30 percent as a freshman) and his speed and ability to play a premium defense position are huge pluses.