JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Arkansas State senior pitcher Daniel Wright was selected in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. He was the 315th player taken overall and is the second highest draft pick in A-State baseball history.
Wright, a native of Bartlett, Tenn., and a the 2013 Sun Belt Conference First-Team All-Conference selection, led the Red Wolves to the semifinals of the SBC Tournament and helped A-State win at least two games in the postseason for the fourth consecutive year.
He was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year by CollegeSportsMadness.com after leading the Red Wolves in wins (6) strikeouts (96) and ERA (3.18). He ranked in the top-10 in the Sun Belt Conference in those same categories and finished the year as the league leader in innings pitched with 110.1.
"I feel honored to be able to continue to play baseball at the next level," Wright said. "I've been blessed to have a great coaching staff over my career. I have had a great group of teammates that have pushed me and helped grow as a player. Arkansas State is a great university and I am so glad I was to play there."
Wright was part of an A-State pitching staff that set a new school record in strikeouts with 487 and ranked among the top-15 nationally in strikeouts per nine innings on the year. Wright's strikeouts-to-walk ratio of 3.69 was the best of any Red Wolves pitcher this season and his 1.07 WHP also ranked nationally.
He earned Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week honors on April 8 after picking up a save and a win in the previous week. Wright picked up his first save since 2011 when he recorded the final three outs in a home game against Southeast Missouri and then went out just three days later and tossed the first complete-game shutout of his career in a 6-0 victory over Western Kentucky. He struck out a career-high 11 batters, yielded just five hits and did not allow a runner past second base during the game. Wright also retired 12 straight in the game at one point.
"We are thrilled that Daniel has an opportunity to continue his career in pro baseball with the Cincinnati Reds," A-State head coach Tommy Raffo said. "It is a real testament to his hard work that he has put in the last few seasons under pitching coach Tighe Dickinson. He has been an outstanding student in the classroom and has been first-class in everything he has done in the program whether it has been on or off the field."
He finished the year by going the distance in his final three starts and retired the side in order in 11 of his final 26 innings at Arkansas State.
A-State has now had a player drafted in each of the last four seasons and Wright is the seventh player drafted from Arkansas State during the Tommy Raffo era. He is also the 17th pitcher that pitching coach Tighe Dickinson has had drafted in his coaching career and the fourth from Arkansas State.