Hawkins grad, UT pitcher Craft drafted by New York Yankees

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The dream of playing major league baseball became a reality June 6 for a former Hawkins Hawk and current University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunner. Derek Craft, the son of Michael and Nancy Craft, was picked the final day of the Major League Baseball draft last week.

Craft who was taken in the 16th round by the New York Yankees was joined by teammates Nathan Alexander (Miami Marlins), Trent Bowles (Philadelphia Phillies) and Chance Kirby (Detroit Tigers) who were also drafted.

According to UTSA’s athletic website, Craft is a junior right-handed pitcher, was the most dominant arm out of the bullpen this spring. The 6’8” 220-pound Craft posted a 3-5 record with three saves in 24 appearances, including 21 in relief. He posted a stellar 1.89 earned run average with 62 strikeouts in 52.1 innings of work. He limited opposing team batters to a paltry .211 batting average.

Craft was a two-sport athlete at Hawkins in baseball and basketball. He ended his senior year with 67.1 innings pitched, giving up just 39 hits, 13 earned runs, 21 walks, 114 strikeouts and a 1.35 ERA. He threw two no-hitters and earned several post season awards including District Newcomer of the Year, District Defensive MVP, District Pitcher of the Year and overall District MVP in 2015.

Craft helped lead the Hawks to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2014 and 2015, including the 2014 district championship. He also helped the basketball team to back-to-back playoff appearances in his junior and senior years, including three playoff appearances.

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