STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi State baseball redshirt-junior Ethan Small was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
The 15th Diamond Dawg in program history to hear his name called in the first round, it marks the fifth MSU student-athlete drafted in the first round in the last eight years, joining Brent Rooker (2017), Dakota Hudson (2016), Hunter Renfroe (2013) and Chris Stratton (2012).
Small is the fourth MSU left-handed pitcher to be taken in the first round, with the Lexington, Tennessee native joining Paul Maholm (2003), Eric DuBose (1997) and B.J. Wallace (1992) as southpaws taken in the first round.
He is the fifth MSU student-athlete (sixth total selection) to be drafted by Milwaukee and the first since Daniel Brown in the seventh round in 2016. Current Brewer starting pitcher and former Diamond Dawg Brandon Woodruff was an 11th round pick by the organization in 2014. Dave Klipstein (1982) and Jon Mingle (2004 & 2004) were also selected by the Brewers in the MLB Draft.
A finalist for the Collegiate Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year, Small earned first-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper in 2019 and is the first MSU pitcher since Jacob Lindgen in 2012 to earn a spot on an All-America first-team squad. He joined Stratton as just the second Diamond Dawg pitcher to earn Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year in program history earlier this season and was the first MSU pitcher since Hudson in 2016 to garner a spot on the All-SEC first team.
Small has been up to the challenge each week as the No. 1 starter for the Bulldogs, posting an 9-2 record – including a 7-1 mark in SEC play – and a 1.88 ERA. The southpaw has not allowed more than three runs in a start all season long. Overall, he has limited the opposition to two-or-fewer runs in 15 of 16 starts.
Against ranked opponents, Small posted a 5-2 record and 1.64 ERA in nine starts, with Mississippi State owning a 6-3 record in those games. Two of those three losses came in one-run games, while the other loss was a two-run loss at Arkansas. In 55 innings of work versus the nation's best teams, Small allowed just 11 runs on 22 hits. He struck out 90 and walked just 16, limiting the opposition to a .120 batting average against.
In 96 total innings of work in 2019, Small has struck out 160 batters, the second-highest total in MSU single-season history, No. 9 all-time on the Southeastern Conference single-season ledger and No. 2 in the NCAA this season. To make that number even more impressive, he has accumulated those strikeouts while walking just 27 batters. He owns the second-best WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) in the NCAA at 0.83 and his 1.88 ERA is No. 2 in the Southeastern Conference and No. 13 in the NCAA.
On the career charts, Small (302) became just the third Diamond Dawg in program history to reach the 300-strikeout mark for a career after his 11th 10-stikeout performance of the season versus Central Michigan in the NCAA Starkville Regional. He joined Dubose (428; 1995-07) and Jeff Brantley (364; 1982-85) in the 300-strikeout club. He is also one of just six MSU pitchers with multiple 100-stikeout seasons, piling up 122 strikeouts last season.