Terrace Alumni in MLB

By Nathan Koplitz

Former Hawks’ star Aaron Brooks is getting his chance at nearly every kid’s dream – playing major league baseball.

On June 6, day three of the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, Brooks was taken in the 26th round by the Seattle Mariners, with the 791st overall pick.

The 6’6”, 212 pound, right-handed pitcher spent his freshman year of college playing for Gonzaga University on a full ride scholarship before transferring to Edmonds Community College in 2011.

In his senior year with the Hawks, Aaron had what was truly a shocking season. He pitched five complete games and won eight games throughout the year. He had a miniscule 1.74 ERA, and struck out 79 batters in just the 60 innings that he pitched.

As a freshman at Gonzaga, Brooks posted a 4.37 ERA , racking up 27 strikeouts in 22 innings.

This year, Brooks improved to a 2.71 ERA, going 7-3 with the Edmonds Community College Tritons, while striking out 60 batters in 67 innings that he pitched.

The Mariners took four players with ties to the northwest – right-handed pitchers Levi Dean (23rd round) and Brooks (26th round), left-handed pitchers Rusty Shellhorn (31st round), and catcher Alex Ross (34th round). Ross’ father, Joe Ross, is the local area scout for the big league club.

Brooks appears to be a reliever for the Mariners in future years.

Tom McNarma, the Director of Amateur Scouting for the Mariners, says of Brooks, “We think he projects as a reliever. He’s a big guy that throws hard.”

While chances of Brooks making it to “The Show” are slim, they do still exist.

As a relief pitcher, his chances of getting to the big leagues increases, as the M’s have an extremely deep starting rotation in the minor leagues. There is no lack of potential talent in the late draft pool however.

“What I try to tell our guys is [that] there are big leaguers in rounds 16 through 40 [of the MLB draft], and we have to keep grinding,” McNarma says.

With former stars such as Jason Bay, Jeff Kent, Mike Piazza and Travis Hafner who all were selected after the 20th round, it shows that diamonds in the rough are always out there in late rounds of the draft.

Whether Brooks is potentially that special late round gem is yet to be seen, but with a long history of successful late round picks behind him, Brooks has a  chance of being a representitive of the Hawks in the big leagues soon enough.