If you watched the MAC tournament you were not surprised to see left handed pitcher Keegan Akin from the Western Michigan Broncos get selected 54th overall in Thursday’s second round of the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft. WMU was the story of the tournament for the Mid-American Conference as they stormed their way to an upset victory, thanks largely to Akin.
Accolades have been pouring in for Akin this season, as he was voted First Team All-Mid-American Conference (MAC), All-MAC Defensive Team, MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, All-MAC Tournament Team and won the MAC West Player of the Week twice this season.
Akin finished his junior campaign with 133 strikeouts, which is good for third in the nation currently. His strikeout total also set the WMU single season record held by Pat Misch (99) since 2001. He finished with a 1.82 ERA, a mark good for 15th in the nation and second in the MAC. Akin led Western Michigan in ERA (1.82), starts (17), complete games (2), innings (109.0), opponent batting average (.192), strikeouts (133) and allowed only one home run all season.
Akin was undrafted out of high school, but seized his opportunity the moment he stepped foot on campus at Western Michigan. He was penciled in as the Sunday starter for the Broncos his freshman year, and first caught significant attention from around the conference when he fanned 12 in a complete game shutout against Ohio to earn MAC Player of the Week. Akin could land in the Oriole bullpen if he’s sped along to deliver strikeout command from a lefty, something that doesn’t grow on trees.