June 15, 2017
By: Erica Rose
That is the question for Lehigh Junior Mark Washington...
It was an exciting day for Mark Washington, and the Lehigh baseball family. The 6-foot-7 right-hander was selected in the 25th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft, by the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday afternoon. Washington has been making a name for himself since he entered his freshman year of college and this past season he was tabbed as the Patriot League's top draft prospect throughout the 2016-17 academic year. Washington was also named the league's No. 1 prospect by Perfect Game, D1Baseball.com and Baseball America in each publication's preseason outlooks. Pretty impressive.
Unfortunately Washington’s 2017 season was limited however due to injuries, competing in just 16 innings, but an impressive sophomore year had him on people’s radar. In 2016, Washington posted a 6-1 record in six starts and finished the season with a 1.80 ERA, (ranking fourth on Lehigh's all-time single-season ERA leaders list.) He only allowed nine earned runs that season, leading all Lehigh starting pitchers in 45.0 innings throughout the year.
Washington will strongly consider his options, which is the logical thing to do. For those who say this is a no brainer, it’s not. It’s a life changing decision and if Washington were to follow his dreams, they would certainly come at a cost. The Pennsylvania native would have to travel cross-country, where he would more then likely make his start in the Rookie affiliate based in Arizona. Depending on how well he performed, Washington could move up to any of the other 5 farm teams with the Dodgers. Yes, he could potentially play on 6 different teams before even stepping foot on a major league field and that’s IF he makes it at all. Washington could also come back to Lehigh and be drafted again next year, after all that is what Mike Garzillo did in 2015 and he ended up going 13 rounds earlier the following year.
No matter what Washington decides the pick says a lot about the Lehigh program. Washington is Lehigh's 12th MLB draft pick, and the program's fourth selection in the last three drafts.
***All stats are from Lehighsports.com, and to find out more on Washington you can visit their website***