Garden City, N.Y., junior righthander goes to hometown team 595th overall
EASTON, Mass. (June 7, 2014) – Stonehill College junior righthanded pitcher Jim Duff (Garden City, New York/Garden City) has been selected by the New York Mets in the 20th round (595th overall) of the Major League Baseball (MLB) First Year Player Draft this afternoon.
Duff, the highest Major League Baseball draft pick in program history, joins former Stonehill righthanded reliever Brendan Shepard, '11, as the only two draft picks in program history. Shepard went to the Boston Red Sox in the 28th round (862 overall) in 2011. Like Shepard, a Boxford, Massachusetts, native, Duff was selected by the hometown team he grew up supporting with his selection by the Mets.
"Playing baseball at Stonehill was a tremendous opportunity for me," said Duff. "In my view, I had the best coaches and teammates a player could ask for. I developed as a person, both on and off the field and I wouldn't be where I am today without my time at Stonehill and with Coach (Pat) Boen. Being from New York and a life-long fan, getting drafted by the Mets is a dream come true for me."
Duff, the second of seven student-athletes from the Northeast-10 Conference selected in this year's draft (all on day three), was a consensus All-East Region performer for Stonehill this spring. He was a first team All-East Region selection by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), while collecting Daktronics and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) second team honors, to go with New England Intercollegiate Baseball Writers Division II All-Star and first team All-Northeast-10 honors at the conclusion of his junior season.
The 6-foot, 6-inch, righthander went 8-2 for Stonehill this season and sported a 1.84 earned run average, good for seventh in the NE-10. He recorded 62 strikeouts and held opponents to a .221 batting average, while issuing just five walks in 83 innings pitched over 11 starts. Duff produced three complete game efforts (one shutout), and earned victories in his first six starts of the season, including two against eventual East Region Champion and NCAA Division II College World Series participant Saint Thomas Aquinas College. He improved to 5-0 with a complete game, eight strikeout performance at then No. 26 Franklin Pierce University on March 28th, and topped the Ravens again in his last start of 2014 in the first round of the NE-10 Championship as he surrendered just two earned runs on eight hits in a complete game win.
Duff was named to the NE-10 All-Rookie team as a freshman in 2012 after going 3-2 with a 2.10 ERA in 16 appearances (three starts). He recorded one complete game, two saves, and struck out 46 batters in 51.1 innings. Last season, Duff earned All-Conference third team accolades, as he went 4-4 in 11 starts with a 2.63 ERA. In his career, Duff is 15-8 overall in 38 appearances (25 starts) with a 2.20 ERA. He has recorded 169 strikeouts while only issuing 35 walks in 213 innings of work.
"Jim has earned this moment through his hard work and dedication to his game over his three years at Stonehill," said Stonehill head coach Pat Boen. "He is one of the best examples of a student-athlete and what can be accomplished by dedicating oneself to being their best. We are proud of Jim earning the opportunity to live out his dream of playing professional baseball and for all he has done for our baseball program at Stonehill."
Stonehill finished its 2014 season with a 30-20 record overall, including 17-10 in the Northeast-10, reaching the 30-win mark for the fourth time in five years, and earning a berth in the NE-10 Tournament for the 13th time in Boen's 17-year tenure.
Stonehill (30-20, 17-10 NE-10) is ranked eighth in the final NCBWA East Regional poll and fourth in the final NEIBA Division II rankings. The Skyhawks returned to the Northeast-10 Tournament after missing it in 2013, defeating Franklin Pierce 11-4 in the first round before eventually being eliminated by Adelphi.