The 2021 Major League Baseball draft took place July 11-13 in Denver, Colorado. It consisted of 20 rounds and 612 picks. Coach Rick Heller’s Iowa Hawkeyes squad had two players chosen. Starting pitchers Trenton Wallace went in the 11th round (332nd overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays and Drew Irvine was chosen in the 19th round (553 overall) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is expected that Wallace will forgo his senior year.
Trenton Wallace, the 6’1” 200 pound left-handed starting pitcher, compiled a record of 10-2 with an ERA of 3.35 in 24 starts as a Hawkeye. Wallace was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year for the 2021 season, going 7-1 with an ERA of 2.34 in 13 starts.
Right-hander Drew Irvine, 6’3” 185 pounds, finished the 2021 season for the Hawkeyes with a 2-5 record and an ERA of 6.43 in 10 starts. Both Wallace and Irvine completed their redshirt junior years this season for the Hawkeyes.
As a comparison, the last Hawkeye pitcher drafted was in 2019. Cole McDonald was picked in the 15th round (466 overall) by the Houston Astros. He received a signing bonus of $1,000. In the 2018 MLB draft, Hawkeye Nick Allgeyer went in the 12th round (356 overall), also to the Toronto Blue Jays. Allgeyer received a signing bonus of $125,000. Allgeyer went 7-4 with an ERA of 2.76 in 16 starts as a Hawkeye. Allgeyer recently made his Major League Baseball debut for Toronto.
Much credit goes to head coach Rick Heller and pitching coach Robin Lund. Hellerball is making Iowa baseball exciting and it is preparing Hawkeyes to move on to the next level.
Interestingly enough, Iowa pitchers Cam Baumann and Davitt Duncan had “better” years from a statistical standpoint. With advanced statistics/analytics becoming all the rage, pro scouts have specific things they are looking for. Irvine’s 6’3” frame probably had something to do with this.
It would have been nice for Wallace to come back for his senior year. This was probably never going to happen. Ideally Irvine returns for his senior year to become a more consistent pitcher. If both pitchers move on, there are quality arms on the way for Coach Rick Heller. Brody Brecht
and Marcus Morgan
are two of the headliners. Brecht was expected to be an early draft choice; more than likely he needed a pretty big signing bonus to convince him to give up his dream of playing football and baseball for the Hawkeyes. The Hawks are also bringing in pitchers Weston Fulk, Caden Stoffer, and Chas Wheatley.
Losing players early is always tough from a fan standpoint. From a recruiting standpoint, it is a huge advantage. High school players want to play in the League. Iowa baseball is developing a track record of preparing its ballplayers for the next level. Good luck to Wallace and Irvine. Go Hawks!