Brendan King ’12 helped make history for the Holy Cross baseball team this year as the leader of their pitching staff, lifting the Crusaders to an NCAA Tournament appearance. His next challenge, however, will be far more daunting as he takes aim at a professional baseball career.
The Chicago Cubs drafted King in the 20th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday afternoon. Brendan led the Holy Cross pitching staff his senior year, posting a 5-7 record and 4.35 ERA in 15 starts against power programs like Auburn University, UC Riverside, and Yale University.
The 20th round has produced some valuable MLB players such as Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Jose Bautista (2000), Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (2005), Detroit Tigers shortstop J.D. Martinez (2009), and Oakland A’s starter Jharel Cotton (2012). Perhaps the most famous 20th round pick is baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who starred for the Cubs from 1982-1997.
Brendan’s performance in the 2017 Patriot League Tournament (2-0, 14.1 innings, 16 strikeouts) was critical to Holy Cross claiming the program’s first-ever Patriot League Tournament Championship. In the NCAA Tournament, Brendan took the mound against the No. 1 overall seed, Oregon State, and pitched five solid innings in the loss.
He finished his collegiate career with a 15-10 record in 35 starts. He posted a 3.42 ERA and struck out 170 batters in 228 2/3 innings for the Crusaders. He was named All-Patriot League in 2015 and 2016 and Patriot League All-Tournament in 2015.
Brendan also played in the Cape Cod Baseball League in the summer of 2016, going a perfect 5-0 in seven starts for the Falmouth Commodores.