BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University Division III All-American baseball pitcher and shortstop Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green) was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 33rd round of the Major League Baseball amatuer draft. This is a career highlight for arguably one of the best baseball student-athletes to ever step on the Berea-based campus.
Zimmerman is the seventh Yellow Jacket to be drafted since 1968, although the player who went the furthest was Scott Medvin '83 who pitched in the "Big Leagues" for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1989 and Seattle Mariners in 1990. Medvin had a 3-2 career record. The others to be drafted include Bob Love '68, a right-handed pitcher, by the Cleveland Indians in the 35th in 1968; Wilbert "Willie" Avery '73, a shortstop, by the Indians in the 41st round in 1975; Kenny Preseren '76, a shortstop, by the Indians in the 21st round in 1976; Joe Portale '83, a catcher, by the Indians in the 40th round in 1980; Jephrey Doorey , a left-handed pitcher, by the Montreal Expos in the 33rd round in 1984; and Erik Young '89, an outfielder, by the Indians in both 1988 in the 54th round and 1989 in the 57th round. To refertence BW's all-time MLB draft list, please CLICK HERE.
"We are so pleased for Mark and his family," said BW sixth-year Head Coach Brian Harrison. "When we recruited him four years ago, we knew this would be a possibility. We talked about it when he came to campus. Mark worked extremely hard to reach his highest potential in all areas. Now he has an opportunity to reach his dream.
"Mark is an immensley talented young man," continued Harrison. "He is an outstanding student, an excellent baseball player and a leader. Mark has a live arm with a fastball that can reach into the 90s. He has a strong breaking ball and a change of speed. Combined with his knowledge of of the game, he is a fine pitcher.
"At the plate, Mark can both hit with some power and has excellent foot speed," said Harrison. "He also has a keen knowledge of the strike zone and doesn't get cheated. Mark also is a fine all-around athlete whon can pitch, play in the infield or in the outfield. The Padres have multiple options with him.
"Again, I can't stress how happy we are for Mark and his family and the opportunity to reach for the stars and his dream," said Harrison. "This also is a giant plus for the Baldwin Wallace baseball program. We know Mark will go out and continue to make us proud."
In May, Zimmerman was selected as a first-team d3baseball.com Division III All-American as both a pitcher and as a utility player (meaning he can pitch, hit and field) and as a third-team ABCA/ Rawlings (American Baseball Coaches Association Division III All-American and as a utility player.
Zimmerman also was selected as the Ohio Athletic Conference, D3baseball.com and the ABCA/Rawlings Mideast Region Player of the Year. He is a three-time D3baseball.com and ABCA/Rawlings All-Mideast Region selection, including earning first-team honors for last two seasons. Zimmerman became just the third OAC and first-ever BW baseball player to earn first-team All-OAC honors for four straight years.
This season, Zimmerman led the team both at the plate as its top hitter and on the mound as its staff ace. He batted .368 (60-for-163) with team-highs of 60 base hits, 15 doubles, 30 walks, a perfect 17-for-17 in stolen bases, a 472 on-base average and a .540 slugging average. Zimmerman also was second with 40 runs scored and three home runs and tied for the most triples with two and tied for second with 33 runs batted-in (RBI). On the mound, he started a single-season school-record 12 games, had a 7-4 record with a 2.50 earned run average (ERA), two complete games and a pair of shutouts (one individual and one combined) and struck out a single-season school-record-tying 91 batters and walked just 15 in 75 and two-third innings pitched. That is 10.82 strikeouts and just 1.78 walks per nine innings pitched.
For his career, Zimmerman played in 171 games and had a .368 batting average with a school-record 242 hits in 662 at-bats with 157 runs scored, 52 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers, 142 RBI and 40 stolen bases in 45 attempts.
The Yellow Jackets compiled a 23-20 overall and 13-5 OAC record this season, tied for second place during the OAC regular season and advanced to the 2016 OAC Championship Game. Zimmerman and the BW senior class of 2016 graduates with a 111-65 record, three OAC Tournament appearances, including advancing to the OAC Championship Game twice, two NCAA Division III National Tournament appearances, including winning one Regional title (Mid-Atlantic Region inn 2014) and one NCAA Division III College World Series appearance (2014).
Zimmerman graduated on May 7 with a 3.39 grade point average and a degree in pre-physical therapy and exercise science.