Nick Garcia Slated as Lone Division III Selection in the 2020 MLB Draft
Sam Viebrock - Inside D3 Chief Editor
NEW YORK – Although the 2020 MLB Draft was shortened from 40 rounds to only 5 rounds in 2020 due to COVID-19, it did not stop former Chapman University pitcher Nick Garcia to get his name called. Garcia was drafted in the third round (79th overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), the Chapman University Panthers baseball team has been known to have a very strong baseball program. In fact, the Panthers defeated Birmingham Southern and won the 2019 Division III baseball championship.
A native of San Carlos, Calif., Garcia, who is the second-highest draft pick in Chapman University baseball history, is also the second Panther to be drafted in the first three rounds of the illustrious MLB Draft. The other was Don August, who was drafted 17th overall in the 1984 draft. 2020 marks the third straight year that a Chapman baseball player has been chosen which is the longest such streak in Division III history. Overall, Garcia is the 66th player to be drafted and 14th since their transition from Division II to III in 1995. Overall, Garcia is the fourth highest draft pick in the conference’s history.
Converted from an infielder to a pitcher back in his freshman campaign, Garcia reached his fastball up in the mid-90’s and won First Team All-Reliever, in 2018. In 2019, he helped the Panthers to the Division III National Championship going 9-0 with 12 saves and an astonishing 0.64 ERA. Garcia was recognized as the College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player. What else is incredible is that he allowed 4 earned runs on 31 hits and struck out 82 batters. In the shortened 2020 season, Garcia transitioned to a starter role where he went 4-1 in five starts.