Duke Signee Taken in the 24th Round

Although no other players on Duke's roster had their names called after Nate Freiman was tabbed in the 28th round of the MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers, a pick a few rounds earlier could have future implications for the Duke baseball program.

Four rounds earlier, incoming freshman signee Brian Litwin was selected as the Pittsburgh Pirates' pick in the 24th round (#714 overall). The 6-foot-2, 185 lb. OF/3B from Hickory, NC was ranked 90th in the country according to a Baseball America list of the Top 100 college commitments. A BA report from November 2007 describes Litwin as "a projectable, athletic outfielder with good bat speed," and says that he is interested in improving the bottom-of-the-ACC reputation of Duke Baseball that has prevailed in recent years.

"The academic side of it was a big part of it, and the coaching was another big part," Litwin said. "I just thought it was a place where I would improve as a baseball player. I want to be part of building the program.

If Litwin spurns the Pirates and decides to enroll at Duke, he will become the third current Blue Devil to be drafted out of high school. Senior OF Tim Sherlock was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2005 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, while sophomore OF/RHP Grant Monroe was tabbed in the 38th round in 2007 by the Chicago White Sox.

-by Will Flaherty


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