June 7, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior pitcher Luke Farrell was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Friday.
Under the direction of NU head coach Paul Stevens, 63 players have now been drafted or signed with a Major League club. Farrell is the first Northwestern pitcher to be chosen since Eric Jokisch was nabbed in the 11th round by the Chicago Cubs in 2010. He is the highest selection of any Wildcat draftee since George Kontos was picked by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2006 draft.
Farrell served as a cornerstone on the Wildcats pitching staff for four years and his most memorable campaign came this past spring. The right-hander posted a 2.13 ERA, the second lowest in the Big Ten this season and the 10th-best single-season mark all-time in program history. He ranked second in the conference in strikeouts with 80 and third with an opponent's batting average of .218.
Farrell struck out at least five hitters in 10 of his 12 starts, and five times he fanned eight or more. The pitcher set down a career-high 12 in only six innings during his first start of the season on Feb. 24 at Lipscomb.
The Westlake, Ohio, native arguably saved his top performances in 2013 for Big Ten foes. He led the league in strikeouts (57), innings pitched (57.1) and opponent's batting average (.202) in conference games. The All-Big Ten team member surrendered only 10 earned runs in eight B1G starts to secure a 1.57 ERA, the conference's second best.
As a senior, Farrell earned two Big Ten Pitcher of the Week nods. The first accolade came on April 22 following an unforgettable outing against Michigan at Wrigley Field. The 6-foot-6-inch hurler stifled the Wolverines and allowed just three hits in a complete-game shutout in which he struck out nine and walked none. Two weeks later on May 4, Farrell surrendered but a pair of hits and fanned eight through eight solid innings as he blanked the Ohio State Buckeyes in his final start at Rocky Miller Park.
Farrell, who celebrates his 22nd birthday Friday, finished his career in a Northwestern uniform with 208 strikeouts, a number that ranks him tied for eighth all-time in program history. He is one of only 11 Wildcats ever to eclipse 200 career strikeouts on the mound.
In addition to his success on the diamond, Farrell has received recognition for his work in the classroom. He is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and earlier this week, Farrell received the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor. The award is bestowed upon one male and one female student-athlete who achieve greatness in both athletics and academics.
Farrell's father, John, currently serves as the manager for the Boston Red Sox; older brother, Jeremy, is a third baseman for the Winston-Salem Dash in the Chicago White Sox organization.
The MLB Draft continues Saturday with rounds 11-40 beginning at noon CT. Live coverage is available through MLB.com.
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