Friday, June 12, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe’s Glaude to Blue Jays

Leader sports editor

Bitter disappointment turned to sheer jubilation for Beebe’s Griffin Glaude just minutes after the 2015 Major League Baseball draft ended on Wednesday. Glaude, who just finished his senior season at Lyon College, where he dominated the NAIA the past three months, was hoping to be one of the 1,215 players selected over the three-day draft period.

“When that ended I was pretty bummed out,” said Glaude on Thursday. “I thought I had done everything I could do, and it just didn’t work out.”

But then just minutes later, Glaude got a call from a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays, and agreed to terms to enter their farm system and become a professional baseball player.

“It was like, literally two minutes after the draft ended,” Glaude said. “He just asked if I was ready to become a part of the Blue Jays organization, and I said yes. He said, ‘OK, I’ll call you back in five minutes.’ A little later he called back and it was done. I mean, I was pretty ecstatic.”

Glaude, who graduated from Beebe in 2011, reports to the Blue Jays training facility in Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Glaude signed with Division I UCA out of high school. He started his freshman year, pitching and playing infield. His sophomore year, his role was limited to just pitching. Wishing to play every day, and enjoying playing the field and hitting, Glaude transferred to Lyon College in Batesville his junior year where he was an everyday player.

He had a good season at the plate, batting .407 with 13 doubles, one home run and 45 RBIs, but it’s his arm that attracted the Blue Jays, and his season on the mound this year was nothing less than dominant.

Glaude gave up just five earned runs in 80 2/3 innings and just six runs total, for a season ERA of 0.56. That led the nation in NAIA this season, as did the earned runs allowed. He was second in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings, with 12.94, and sixth in total strikeouts with 116.

He was named the American Midwest Conference Pitcher of the Year and made All-AMC first team as an infielder.

Even with all those accolades, it wasn’t until two weeks after the season, when he participated in a workout for the Blue Jays in Tulsa, that he began to receive serious interest from pro ball teams.

“That workout is where I first got on the radar,” Glaude said.

Glaude has little knowledge of what will happen in Tampa Bay, but he’s looking forward to it.

“I really don’t know what’s going to happen once I get there,” Glaude said. “I’ve got a few friends who have done it, and I know it’s going to pretty much be, wake up, and it’s baseball until bed. It’s a lot of work. I’m just going to keep living the dream. I get an opportunity to do something I love and get paid for it.”