ATLANTA -- Former Georgia State pitcher Brandon Baker has signed a free agent contract with the Texas Rangers organization.
The left-handed hurler is the third member of the Panthers' 2018 squad to earn a professional baseball opportunity, joining catcher Nick Gatewood (11th-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres) and shortstop Justin Jones (free agent signee with Los Angeles Angels.)
With Baker, eight recent former Panthers are active in minor league baseball:
INF Matt Rose (Georgia State 2013-15), Class AA Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox)
RHP Nathan Bates (Georgia State 2013-15), Class AA Mobile Bay Bears (Los Angeles Angels)
C Joey Roach (Georgia State 2013-16), Class A Adv Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays)
RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia State 2016-17) Class A Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics)
C Nick Gatewood (Georgia State 2016-18) Rookie AZL Padres 1 (San Diego Padres)
INF Justin Jones (Georgia State 2015-18) Rookie AZL Angels (Los Angeles Angels)
LHP Brandon Baker (Georgia State 2017-18) Texas Rangers, team TBA
RHP Cole Uvila (Georgia State 2015-16, finished career at Georgia Gwinnett), Class A SS Spokane (Texas Rangers)
In addition, pitcher David Buchanan (Georgia State 2010), Georgia State's first Major League player in 2014, is now pitching professional in Japan.
Baker pitched two seasons (2017-18) for the Panthers. As the Panthers' top lefty last spring, he led the team with 25 appearances, all but on in relief, and was 4-3 with 45 strikeouts in 40 innings.
The Atlanta native from Redan High School began his career at Missouri before transferring to GSU in 2016.
He earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Georgia State.