HANCEVILLE ? Wallace State right-handed pitcher Bret Marks was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft on Wednesday, the third and final day of the draft.
Marks, a 6-foot-1 freshman, was a workhorse for Wallace State?s pitching staff in 2012 after transferring from Mississippi State in the fall. He finished the year with an 11-5 record, seven saves and a 1.74 ERA, tossing five complete games in 24 appearances. He recorded 90 strikeouts and had only 19 walks in 79 innings, leading all Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Northern Division pitchers in wins, saves, ERA and strikeouts.
?Bret is a hard worker and he did everything we asked him to do. We expected a lot out of him in many roles and he never let us down,? said Wallace State assistant coach Adam Scott. ?He deserves the recognition.?
A year after missing the postseason for the first time since 1990, Wallace State was the state runner-up in 2012, finishing with a 41-17 record.
Marks, a Georgia native, was at his best during conference play, helping the Lions earn a tie for the Northern Division?s regular-season title. Marks pulled off an impressive feat on two instances, earning a win and a save in doubleheaders on both March 3 and April 5, each time against Snead State. At the state tournament in Ozark, from May 14-17, he earned two wins, one as a starter and one in relief.
Marks, 20, had never pitched out of the bullpen until this season.
?The transition to the bullpen was somewhat of a different animal because you can go right after a hitter. You can pump the fastball in there and use another strike out pitch when you need it. As a starter, you?ve got to go in there and mix in a lot of different pitches to keep hitters off balance for six, seven or eight innings,? said Marks, a former summertime player in the famed East Cobb (Ga.) organization. ?It may be a little unique, but I like fulfilling any role. I want to be on the field as much as possible.?
Marks, selected 697th overall, is the first player drafted from Wallace State since Craig Kimbrel was a third round selection of the Atlanta Braves in 2008. Three former Wallace State players were drafted last season and the program currently has three players on major league rosters, Kimbrel, Derek Holland and Graham Godfrey, and five others in the minor leagues.