The Oakland Athletics selected Niagara University pitcher Jordan Schwartz in the fourth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
Schwartz is a 6-foot-2 righty from Hornell, who was taken with the 132nd pick of the draft. He is the second highest drafted Purple Eagle in program history. Doug Farrell was picked in the second and third rounds of the 1971 and 72 drafts by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Schwartz is the sixth Niagara player drafted by an MLB squad since 2005. The others include James Avery (Cincinnati Reds), Dan Griffin (San Francisco Giants) and Reed Eastley (Seattle Mariners) in 2005, Jeff Vincent (Boston Red Sox) in 2006, and Wynton Bernard (San Diego Padres) in 2012.
Schwartz was sort of like Niagara’s version of Babe Ruth, playing the outfield when he wasn’t pitching. On the mound, he led the Purple Eagles’ staff with a 3.12 earned-run average in 14 starts and tossed five complete games. He led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in strikeouts (109), while holding opponents to .217 batting average. He also made 38 starts in the outfield, batting .258 with three doubles, 20 RBIs and 132 runs scored.
“I am extremely proud of Jordan and few deserve it more than him,” Niagara head coach Rob McCoy said. “He worked extremely hard and made himself what he is today. He’s a perfect example of what can be achieved when using trials and struggles to get stronger and tougher, instead of getting consumed by them. I look forward to him growing even more as a pro.”