Four Stanford Players Taken On First Day Of 2003 MLB Draft
June 3, 2003
Stanford, Calif. - Four Stanford Baseball players -- junior outfielder Carlos Quentin, junior righthanded pitcher John Hudgins, senior catcher Ryan Garko and senior lefthanded pitcher Tim Cunningham -- have been selected on the first day of the 2003 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Quentin became the 14th Stanford player to be taken in the first round in the last 17 years when he was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 29th pick overall. Hudgins was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the third round with the 76th pick overall, while Garko was also a third round selection by the Cleveland Indians and the 78th choice overall. Cunningham was selected by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round with the 256th pick overall.
'I feel very pleased for all of the guys drafted today,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess. 'They've worked hard to make themselves professional players. At the same time, they're all going to graduate.'
A native of Chula Vista, Calif., Quentin is one of five finalists for the 2003 Golden Spikes Award and one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Smith Award. He is hitting .386 with 10 homers, 55 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 58 games, all starts. He also leads the club with a .482 on-base percentage and 13 hit-by-pitches. Quentin has hit safely in 42 of his last 46 games (.409, 76-186) and had a 26-game hit streak earlier this season that lasted two months (2/22, Game 2 - 4/22). He is also a three-time All-Pac-10 choice and has a career .346 batting average at Stanford with 33 homers, 161 RBI and 26 stolen bases.
'I'm very excited,' said Quentin. 'The Arizona Diamondbacks are a great organization, and I'm looking forward to this. I can't say I was expecting to go in the first round, but I think my talent justifies it. I was definitely happy to go where I did.'
Hudgins (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in 2003 and a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He has a 10-3 record with a 3.33 ERA, while leading the conference in strikeouts (122), innings pitched (132.1), starts (18) and complete games (6). He has lasted at least 6.0 innings in 16 of his 18 starts and pitched 7.0 or more innings on 11 occasions. Hudgins has a 21-9 career record and a 4.00 ERA with 234 strikeouts in 283.2 innings pitched at Stanford. He has pitched nine complete games in 35 career starts and 59 appearances, while also recording four saves. Hudgins was previously selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 20th round of the 2000 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
'I'm really amazed by all of this,' said Hudgins. 'The Texas Rangers are a great organization and with my mother's side of the family being from Dallas, it's pretty exciting for me. I think the Rangers are a good fit for me, and that I will be valued.'
'Playing at Stanford has made me a better player every year,' added Hudgins. 'I've become a better player through the Stanford experience and competing here in college, and it was reflected in the draft today.'
Garko (Walnut, CA/Servite HS) is having a monster senior season and has already earned Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in addition to being one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, a First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a Regional Most Outstanding Player. He leads the club in batting average (.418, #2 Pac-10), home runs (18, #3 Pac-10), RBI (87, #2 Pac-10), hits (94, #2 Pac-10), total bases (168, #2 Pac-10), slugging percentage (.747, #1 Pac-10), multiple-hit games (30), multiple-RBI games (26), sacrifice flies (7) and extra-base hits (38). Garko has more home runs (18) than strikeouts (13) and is averaging just one strikeout every 17.3 official at bats. He is Stanford's active career leader in home runs (39, #9 all-time), RBI (186, #10 all-time), doubles (56, #6 all-time), total bases (424), slugging percentage (.600), walks (90), on-base percentage (.444), sacrifice flies (20), putouts (1133), games played (208) and games started (188, co-leader with Quentin).
Garko is also within reach of two Stanford single-season records. His .418 batting average is just .012 percentage points behind the .430 mark put up by school record holder Tom Williams in 1972 and his 87 RBI are just five shy of the school record of 92 set by Rick Lundblade. Garko is attempting to become just the sixth Stanford player to ever hit .400 or better in a season and the first since David McCarty batted .420 in 1991.
'I'm just really excited to have the opportunity to play professional baseball and to be a part of the Cleveland Indians' organization,' said Garko. 'Without the four years at Stanford that have been the best four years of my life, I wouldn't be where I am at today. I've loved all four years here on and off the field.'
'I've put in a lot of work in the last year,' said Garko, in reference to going from not being drafted in 2002 to being a third round selection this season. 'It showed on the field and luckily Cleveland saw that.'
Cunningham (Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) is 3-3 with a 5.49 ERA this season, striking out 20 batters in 39.1 innings. In a four-year Stanford career, Cunningham has posted a 24-8 all-time record with a 4.18 ERA and needs just one more victory onto Stanford's all-time career top 10 victory list. Cunningham has struck out 177 batters in 275.1 innings. He has previously been selected twice in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in the 22nd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999 and the 23rd round by the Atlanta Braves in 2002.
'I'm fortunate and thankful for the opportunity given to me by the Texas Rangers' organization,' said Cunningham. 'I'm been looking forward to this and working towards the dream of playing professional baseball all the time I have been growing up.'