FARGO — A highly successful year for North Dakota State shortstop Bennett Hostetler continued on Tuesday. He was taken in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Miami Marlins.
Hostetler, from Bozeman, Mont., had a private workout with the Marlins in Missoula, Mont., NDSU head coach Tyler Oakes said, and that set the stage for Miami to take him.
“And that went well so I wasn’t shocked they picked him,” Oakes said. “The future is up to him really. Him getting his shot is what it’s all about and in talking to him, he was just hoping to get a shot.”
The three-day draft started on Sunday with the first round and concluded Tuesday after the 20th round. Not long afterward, Bison pitcher Parker Harm from Mandan, N.D., signed with the Kansas City Royals as an undrafted free agent. The Royals, in fact, contacted Harm after their last pick and before the draft was even over.
“They called him and it came from their scouting director, the highest guy possible,” Oakes said. “If he goes and does his thing and fills up the strike zone, there is no reason he couldn’t make a quick jump throughout the minor league system.”
Hostetler hit .394 in 61 games and was named the Summit League Player of the Year in leading the Bison to the tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament. NDSU won a game for the first time in school history.
That exposure in the Stanford Regional was also a factor in the Marlins taking Hostetler, Oakes said.
Harm’s potential is being a left-hander who consistently hits 91 to 94 miles per hour. Moreover, he delivers from a lower arm angle that can be tough on hitters.
Harm had a 1.70 earned run average in 22 appearances this season tying a school record for saves in a season with 12. He had 62 strikeouts in 37.0 innings, averaging 10.58 strikeouts per nine innings, the most in NDSU history.
“I was shocked not to see him get drafted by anyone,” Oakes said. “He’s experienced, but age (sixth-year senior) might have hurt him a bit.”
Both Hostetler and Harm did not immediately know where they were going to be assigned. Oakes expects them to be on a flight in the next couple of days.
“I just said make sure your bags are packed and ready to go,” he said. “It’s definitely an exciting time for them, a once-in-a-lifetime deal for them.”