JONESBORO, Ark. (6/5/18) – Arkansas State junior pitcher Peyton Culbertson was selected with the 237th pick in the 8th round by the Miami Marlins in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft Tuesday afternoon.
Culbertson becomes the 15th player drafted since head coach Tommy Raffo took over in 2009 and is the 10th pitcher selected during that time frame. Culbertson is the fifth pitcher over that time span to be chosen in the MLB Draft's first 10 rounds and all five were not drafted out of high school. He is the second-highest selection in the June Amateur Draft in school history after Tyler Zuber was chosen in the sixth round in 2017.
"We are thrilled with Peyton's opportunity to continue his career in professional baseball," Raffo said. "It's a great honor for him to be selected in the eighth round by the Marlins. This is the right time for him to continue his growth and development as a pitcher as he strives to play in Major League Baseball."
A native of Collierville, Tenn., Culbertson ended the 2018 campaign with the best ERA on the team at 3.73 after making 16 appearances, including eight starts. He racked up 48 strikeouts in 50.2 innings with the final 11 coming over 10.1 innings as a member of the bullpen, where he saw an uptick in velocity. The right-hander picked up two wins and held opposing batters to a .257 average.
"It is an honor and a dream come true to be picked by the Marlins," Culbertson stated. "I am incredibly grateful to see my hard work paying off. I want to thank my family, friends, and coaches for supporting and pushing me to be my best. I cannot wait to start this new journey in my life."
Culbertson accumulated 11 wins in his career, including a 4-0 mark as a freshman, and struck out 145 in 162 total innings pitched. He posted nine quality starts in his career and reached a career-high eight innings twice. Last season against Georgia State on April 8, 2017 he went eight frames and struck out a career-high 11, tied for the ninth most in a game since 2002. Additionally, he has one complete game to his credit in an 8-3 seven-inning, rain-shortened win over UAPB April 26, 2016.
"We are proud of the determination that Peyton showed to put him in a position to get drafted," A-State pitching coach Rowdy Hardy added. "I saw him put in the effort this season and he was willing to pitch in whatever role we asked him to this season so I know he has what it takes to succeed at the next level."
The third and final day of the 2018 MLB Draft is set for Wednesday with rounds 11-40.