Seven Keydets Making Noise in Professional Baseball
LEXINGTON, Va. – Seven former VMI student-athletes are active in the professional baseball, all making solid contributions.
Reed Garrett, a 16th-round draft pick of Texas in 2014, played at two levels for the Rangers this year. The right-hander served as the teams’ closer at both of those stops. Garrett had a 1.69 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 42.2 innings at AA Frisco, with a 3-1 record and 16 saves. He finished the season at AAA Round Rock, totaling 19 innings, a 2.84 ERA and five saves. Garrett was selected December 13 in the first round of the MLB Rule 5 draft by the Detroit Tigers, taken fifth overall.
Matt Winn, a 14th-round draft pick by San Francisco, also competed at with two different affiliates in 2018. The catcher split time between A-level San Jose and AA Richmond, hitting .236 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI. Winn finished the season strong for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, hitting .255 with six doubles and a homer in just 51 at bats.
Nathan Eaton, a 21st-round selection by Kansas City this year, had a very productive season for the rookie-level Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League. Splitting time between the infield and outfield, Eaton raked the ball to the tune of a .349 average, 20 doubles, 12 triples and five home runs to go with 53 RBI and 59 runs scored. He added 19 stolen bases and had an on-base percentage of .427 and a slugging percentage of .581.
Josh Winder, taken in the seventh round by the Minnesota Twins this summer, was on the Elizabethton Twins (Tenn.) Appalachian League team. The 6-5 right-hander started nine games, compiling a 3.72 ERA, a 3-1 record and 42 strikeouts in 38.2 innings with just six walks.
Matt Pita, drafted in the 12th round by the New York Yankees in June, played mostly second base this fall. He played most of the season with the Gulf Coast League Yankees West, finished the year with the A level Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League.
Matt Eagle, signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Angels this summer, split time between the Rookie Level Orem Owlz (Utah) and the A ball Burlington Bees (Iowa). He struck out 39 batters in 28.1 innings between the two levels.
Michael Devine had a 2.57 ERA this year for St. Paul in the American Association Independent Baseball League. He had a 5-4 record and six saves in just over 66 innings on the mound. He is currently throwing in the Mexican Professional Winter League for the Mexicali Eagles, boasting a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings.