COLUMBIA — Missouri junior right-hander Matt Stites was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft Tuesday. He is the first current Tiger selected in this year’s MLB Draft, chosen 533rd overall.
Stites was a starter for the Tigers and finished the season with a 3.72 ERA in 92.0 innings pitched. He started 15 games in 2011 and struck out 77 batters while compiling three wins in the year. The majority of his starts were as the Tigers’ Saturday starter. He led the team in innings pitched (92.0), strikeouts (77) and complete games (one). He was second on the team in wins (three) and ERA.
From Festus, Stites had a great stretch during league play that spanned four starts in which he showed big-league potential. In four straight starts against Oklahoma State, Kansas, Baylor and Texas A&M, Stites went 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA. He struck out 30 batters in 29.0 innings during that span.