University of Miami lefthander Andrew Suarez was the first Hurricane selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday when the Washington Nationals selected him in the second round with the 57th overall pick. Suarez went 6-3 with a 2.95 ERA this past season while striking out 87 batters in 109.2 innings and was selected as a third-team All-ACC selection.
The southpaw was drafted back in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami but chose to attend UM instead. Despite being held back his freshman year due to a shoulder injury, Suarez bounced back to make 31 starts the next two seasons as a member of Miami’s weekend rotation, finishing with a personal record of 9-9 and a 144 strikeouts.
“Definitely worth coming to UM,” Suarez, 21, told the Miami Herald. “It was always a dream of mine to play baseball at Miami. When I got drafted out of high school I still didn't know that much about baseball. But Coach [Jim] Morris and [pitching coach] J.D. [Arteaga] and all the older guys helped me mature and taught me so much.
“I just wanted to go to school, get an education and get ready. College helps you mature as a player and as a person.”
As a redshirt sophomore this past season Suarez pitched nine innings four different times, including a complete-game shutout against Bethune-Cookman in the NCAA Coral Gables Regional in his final start on May 30. He struck out a career-high 10 batters that day, helping Miami advance to the winner’s bracket of the regional before the Hurricanes eventually lost to Texas Tech.
“It was very disappointing to finish the way we did,” Suarez said. “It wasn't how we wanted to end up. I'm sure next year the're going to bounce back and go further.”
Suarez was ranked the No. 75 overall MLB Draft prospect by Baseball America and the 32nd-best college prospect. He was also rated the No. 70 prospect in Perfect Game’s most recent rankings.