SEATTLE — For the second straight year, a Tarleton State Texan heard his name called in the MLB Draft.
Tarleton right-handed pitcher Will Stevens was selected with the 453rd pick in the 15th round of the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
With the selection, Stevens becomes the ninth Texan in program history to be selected in MLB’s first year player draft. A year ago, Tarleton reliever Matthew Hickey was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals also as a 15th round selection, just four picks after Stevens was taken as Hickey was the 457th overall pick.
In Stevens’ lone year at Tarleton State, the 6-3, 230-pound righty totaled a 1-1 record in five starts and 20 innings. He struck out 30 while holding opposing hitters to a .174 average. Stevens was Tarleton’s Friday night starting pitcher in the weekend rotation before suffering an injury following an outing vs. UIW on March 17 that shut him down for the remainder of the season.
In a 6.0 inning outing vs. Prairie View A&M on March 3, Stevens struck out a season-high 10 which was tied for the most batters struck out in a single game by a Texan in 2023.
Stevens came to Tarleton after spending the 2022 season at Wichita State where he struck out 18 in 13.1 innings of work. Prior to his lone season in Wichita, Stevens spent two seasons at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he finished with a 4-0 record and a 2.28 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched in 2021.
The Kansas City, Missouri, native, spent two summers in the MLB Draft League in 2021 and 2022. In total, he punched out 45 hitters across 30.2 innings on the mound.
Stevens is the third highest Tarleton Texan ever taken in the MLB Draft, falling in behind Paul Darnell (pick no. 338 in the 1999 MLB Draft) and Mike Rodriguez (pick no. 159 in the 1996 MLB Draft).
He is also the second Texan taken by the Tampa Bay Rays as Ryan Turner was selected by the Rays in 2011 in the 32nd round.
Click here to view all current and former Tarleton players to play professional baseball.
Tarleton Texans taken in the MLB Draft:
|Year||Player||Organization Drafted By||Round #||Pick #|
|1989||Dave Agado||Cincinnati Reds||27||690|
|1991||Mike Cantu||St. Louis Cardinals||23||831|
|1992||Chad Fox||Cincinnati Reds||23||633|
|1996||Mike Rodriguez||Toronto Blue Jays||6||159|
|1999||Paul Darnell||Cincinnatti Reds||11||338|
|2004||Jarrad Burcie||Texas Rangers||16||471|
|2011||Ryan Turner||Ryan Turner||32||990|
|2022||Matthew Hickey||St. Louis Cardinals||15||457|
|2023||Will Stevens||Tampa Bay Rays||15||453|