BOISE — The Boise State baseball team is still eight months from playing its first game in nearly 40 years, but still made a little bit of history on Wednesday.
Two of the Broncos signees in the 2019 recruiting class were selected on the third dau of the Major League Baseball Draft to mark the first time since 1980 that a Boise State baseball player or signee was taken in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Reed Harrington, a graduate of Eagle High School that spent two years at Spokane Community College, was selected in the 20th round by the Boston Red Sox. He plans to skip Boise State and sign with the Red Sox after they offered him a signing bonus of $125,000.
Torin Montgomery, a first baseman from Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington, was selected in the 35th round by the Miami Marlins, but plans to honor his commitment to Boise State. Per MLB rules he’ll have a chance to re-enter the draft three years from now in 2022.
“Hopefully we’re having plenty of these conversations this time every year,” Boise State baseball coach Gary Van Tol told the Idaho Press. “It’s huge for our program. It’s a neat day. For every high school or college player getting drafted is a dream come true. We’re excited for them.
“And this will never happen again. It’s kind of historic because from this time forward, anybody that gets drafted from our program is going to be wearing a Boise State uniform before they see their name selected.”
Harrington led the NWAC with 12 saves this year and had a perfect 0.00 ERA to go along with 31 strikeouts to just four walks in 25 2/3 innings. He posted a 1.32 ERA as a freshman in 2018 before signing with the Broncos last December.
He could have elected to play for Boise State next season and enter the 2020 draft, but instead took a nice six-figure guarantee to get his professional career started.
“He had some leverage and could have come here for a year and upped his stock and I know he was torn a little bit too since he’s a local player from Eagle,” Van Tol said. “But the Red Sox stepped up, and it’s a neat deal for him. Dreams do come true.”
Van Tol said Boise State is already making phone calls and recruiting to fill his spot on the roster. Boise State had 12 players on campus last year, but will welcome the rest of the roster later this summer.
Montgomery, a 6-foot-4 slugger, hit .365 as a senior this spring and helped his team to a 3A state championship. Van Tol said he has decided to come to Boise State and try to improve his stock over the next three years.
“Clubs aren’t just wasting draft picks, so that sends a message to him and his family that he’s been recognized and he’s going to be on everybody’s radar and they will all be coming in to watch him for three years now at Boise State,” Van Tol said.
The last time a Boise State player was drafted came in the final year they had a team in 1980 when pitcher Mark Wright was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round. They’ve had two football players drafted, Chris Thomas in 1992 and Joe Martarano in 2014.
“It’s an exciting time for the program,” Van Tol said.