While Tanner Andrews stopped short of calling it a consolation prize after a record-setting season for Purdue baseball ended in the NCAA regionals, the Tippecanoe Valley graduate celebrated with his mother, brother and girlfriend after getting drafted in the 10th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday, going 297th overall to the Miami Marlins.
“I talked with (the Marlins) a few minutes before (my name was announced),” Andrews said. “Once the name came up, it was an awesome experience. We all knew it was coming up, but it was still a moment where you don’t know for sure until the name is announced and it comes up on the screen. It was an emotional moment.”
Immediately after, Andrews started receiving text messages and phone calls of congratulations from teammates, coaches present and past, friends – almost everyone with whom he’s shared a connection preparing for the moment.
Amid the deluge of texts, calls and other well wishes, he didn’t notice right away that his battery mate, catcher Nick Dalesandro, was named just 12 picks later, chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks – also in the 10th round, at pick No. 309.
“I guess I stopped paying attention to the draft at that point,” Andrews said. “As my teammates were texting me, I saw it pop up in our group conversation. I wish him the best moving forward and hope we get the chance to compete against each other in the big leagues.”
Andrews and Dalesandro also joined each other on the All-Big Ten Third Team, while Andrews, who finished 7-5 with a 2.94 ERA, received Purdue’s Sportsmanship Award from the conference. Dalesandro, who started all 59 games for the Boilers, hit .297 with a .400 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage, stealing 27 bases in 30 tries while turning in a .982 fielding percentage.
While Andrews’ 98 innings stands as a career high, no reservations exist about adding to that total yet this summer.
“I absolutely intend on going and competing right away,” Andrews said. “Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do to the best of my ability. This week off right here will be enough, and I’ll be excited to get back on the mound right away.”
In the fifth round, Philadelphia drafted Notre Dame centerfielder Matt Vierling as the 137th overall pick. The 6-foot-3 junior hit .310 with a .402 on-base percentage and .505 slugging percentage for the Irish in 2018, tying for the team lead with 10 home runs.
The second-team All-ACC selection, who was previously chosen in the 30th round by St. Louis in 2015, also pitched in six games for Notre Dame, hitting 93 mph with his fastball.
One pick later, the White Sox chose Indiana’s Jonathan Stiever. The 6-1 junior started 16 games for the Hoosiers, going 5-6 with a 3.41 ERA. In a team-high 100.1 innings, Stiever struck out 97 while walking just 32 batters and was named First Team All-Big Ten.
Notre Dame third baseman Nick Podkul was picked 206th overall in the seventh round by Toronto. A 6-1 junior, Podkul, who like Vierling earned second-team All-ACC honors, led the Irish in hitting (.312), on-base percentage (.433) and slugging (.525), hitting eight home runs while stealing nine bases in 11 attempts.