Rangers select Wolfram in 18th round of MLB draft
HAMILTON—For the second time in three years, Hamilton graduate Grant Wolfram was selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
On Wednesday, June 6, the Texas Rangers selected the hard-throwing, 6-foot-7 southpaw in the 18th round of the draft with the 539th overall pick.
The Detroit Tigers selected Wolfram, who spent the past two seasons pitching for Davenport University, in the 17th round out of high school in 2015.
“It’s just an exciting time,” Wolfram said. “My dad was actually the first one to see my name. We were all sitting around—I had just got done working—and we jumped up and gave each other a big hug. It was cool being able to share that moment with my family.”
Unlike the first time he was drafted, Wolfram feels more prepared to take the step into the professional ranks.
“I feel like I’m way more ready now after college,” he said. “After high school, it was exciting, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready for this.’ But playing in college and summer ball and learning from everyone and being in a good atmosphere and getting more confidence has really helped me.”
After being drafted by the Tigers three years ago, Wolfram opted to put his professional aspirations on hold and instead decided to honor his commitment to play at Central Michigan University. He then transferred to Davenport for his sophomore season.
The 2017 season saw Wolfram post a 13-2 record with a 3.28 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 93-1/3 innings. That win total set a new Davenport school record and tied Wolfram for the most wins nationally in the NAIA, helping him garner Second Team All-American honors.
This season started a little shaky for Wolfram before he recovered to post a 6-4 record with 4.30 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 64 innings. He recorded 10-plus strikeouts in five straight games from April 8 to May 4 and had a 2.25 ERA in his last six starts.
“My pitching coach came up with the idea to throw my two-seam (fastball) more and that extra movement really helped me throw inside more,” Wolfram said.
Wolfram, who is tied for third all-time at Davenport with 19 wins and 195 strikeouts, has the option of signing with the Rangers or returning to Davenport for his senior season.
“We’re still negotiating,” he said of Texas. “We’re still talking.”