Five ASU baseball players selected in 2021 MLB Draft

Shortstop Drew Swift was the first Sun Devil to hear their name called

Five Sun Devils were selected in the 2021 MLB Draft, which spanned three days starting on Sunday and finishing up Tuesday. This year's draft lasted 20 rounds, while the COVID-19-impacted 2020 MLB Draft only had five rounds.

Unlike the 2020 draft, which saw former ASU first baseman Spencer Torkelson get selected first overall by the Detroit Tigers and four other Sun Devils get drafted, the program had to wait a little longer to hear some of its players get picked this year.

The first Sun Devil selected, redshirt senior infielder Drew Swift, was selected in the eighth round by the Oakland Athletics. He hit .314 and totaled six home runs and 38 RBIs while starting all but one game in the 2020-21 season. 

Swift was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 and was given First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.

The next Sun Devil to come off the board, redshirt junior pitcher Erik Tolman, was selected in the 14th round by the Washington Nationals. The left-handed pitcher only appeared in three games for the Sun Devils in 2021 before missing the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Tolman still has the option to return to school as he has two years of college eligibility remaining.

Another left-handed pitcher from ASU, redshirt senior Justin Fall, was selected in the 17th round by the Miami Marlins. After transferring to ASU from Brookdale Community College in 2020, Fall had two effective seasons in the Sun Devil rotation. In 2021, Fall went 7-3 for ASU with a 4.09 ERA across 77 innings.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Cooper Benson was selected just three picks later in the 17th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Like Tolman, Benson was sidelined for most of the season due to undergoing Tommy John surgery. Benson has three more years of college eligibility remaining should he choose to return to school.

The final Sun Devil to come off the board, redshirt junior pitcher Tyler Thornton, was selected four picks after Benson in the 17th round by the Cleveland Indians. Thornton transferred to ASU after an impressive freshman season at St. Mary's College of California and helped bolster the Sun Devil staff across 18 starts during two seasons with the team.

Thornton has two years of eligibility remaining.


Reach the reporter at ltochter@asu.edu and follow @Leo_Toch on Twitter.

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