Nick Routt had just fired up his computer this morning when he saw his name pop up on the screen. He’d been drafted in the 16th round by the Cincinnati Reds (502nd overall).
“I was kind of like, hey, I got drafted,” said Routt, a junior left-handed pitcher for Mississippi State.
He said the Reds didn’t call until after he’d learned of being drafted, although the club had spoken with him the day before as Day 2 wound down. Chances are, Routt said, his MSU playing days are finished. He has one year of eligibility remaining.
“I just think the next step is to go on and play professional baseball. I think that everyone agrees with me and supports me on the coaching staff,” Routt said.
The 6-foot-4, 202-pounder from Silver Spring, Md., went 3-5 with 3.80 ERA this past season. He made 18 appearances, including seven starts, striking out 39 against 15 walks in 45 innings of work. Routt was relegated to bullpen duty at the start of April, and over his final six outings he gave up just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings.
Routt tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings against Kentucky on May 26 to earn the win in MSU’s SEC Tournament semifinal triumph.
Routt was a weekend starter as a freshman, compiling a 5-3 record and 4.15 ERA. He threw four complete games that year and logged 86 2/3 innings.
An elbow injury cut his 2010 season short, and in 2011 Routt was 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA, making 13 starts and tossing 56 innings.
Routt thinks his varied experiences can help him down the line.
“It definitely prepares me or whatever the Reds want to use me for. I can come out of the bullpen or start. I’d probable preferably start, but I’ll do whatever they need me to do.”
His stats might not blow anyone away, but Routt is a left-hander with a lot of experience, and he’s come through in big moments. In the 2011 NCAA Atlanta Regional final, he threw a complete game to get the win, allowing three runs on six hits.
“The postseason, a lot of guys are really amped up and get nervous and try to do something extra just because it’s the postseason,” Routt said. “I think you’ve just got to calm down and do what you know you can do and go out there and do it.”
Routt will be represented by Bo McKinnis, the same agent representing Routt’s fellow MSU pitcher, Chris Stratton, who was selected 20th overall by San Francisco on Monday.
• Also drafted today was junior righty Kendall Graveman (4-4, 2.81), in the 36th round by Miami (1,097th overall). The draft is now over, so MSU has just the three pitchers taken this year.
Two signees also were drafted today: second baseman Will Dupont by Toronto in the 16th round (505th overall) and outfielder Jacob Robson by San Diego in the 30th round (915th overall).