Recently graduated University of Arkansas at Little Rock pitcher Justin Garcia added one more accolade to his impressive resume, becoming the latest Trojan to be drafted by a Major League Baseball program. Garcia was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 17th round, becoming the 24th player in program history selected by an MLB franchise.
A first team All-Sun Belt Conference selection in 2018, Garcia set the program record with 36 appearances, registering 10 saves as the Trojans’ closer, tying for the league lead. Garcia pitched 58.2 innings, ranking seventh among qualifying pitchers with a 3.38 ERA, and finishing with 80 total strikeouts, ranking 17th nationally in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.27.
His .210 opposing batting average ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference as he was among the league leaders in fewest hits, doubles, and earned runs allowed.
The Colleyville, Texas, native leaves Little Rock as the program’s all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.20, appearing in 69 games in relief for the Trojans, ranking third all-time. Garcia is fifth among the Trojan record books in career ERA (3.23) in 100.1 innings pitched, striking out 136.
Garcia was named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week on March 20 after helping pace the Trojans to a victory over nationally-ranked Louisiana Tech and a series victory on the road at Troy. His performances earned him recognition not just at the conference level, but nationally as well, as he was a nominee for the Senior CLASS award and was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year midseason watch list.
Garcia graduated this past May, earning his bachelor’s degree in finance.
With Garcia being selected by the Diamondbacks, Little Rock has now had at least one player selected in the Major League Baseball Draft in each of the past six seasons and 12 of the last 13. He is the highest ranked Trojan draftee since Ryan Scott was selected in the seventh round by the Boston Red Sox in 2016.