ATLANTA -- Georgia State pitcher Hunter Gaddis, drafted in the fifth round by the Cleveland Indians last week in the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, has signed with the Indians organization to begin his professional career.
Gaddis is the highest draft pick in school history, surpassing 2010 seventh-round selection David Buchanan of the Philadelphia Phillies, a right-handed pitcher who went on to become the first Panther to reach the Major Leagues in 2014 with the Phillies and is currently pitching for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan.
In Gaddis' three seasons at Georgia State, the 6-6 right-hander compiled a 3.81 earned run average, the lowest mark in school history, while collecting 277 strikeouts (9.35 per nine innings) to rank second in Panther annals. He also stands 10th in the GSU record book with 14 career victories, fourth in innings pitched (266.2) and sixth in games started (40).
The Canton, Ga., native who attended Sequoyah High School is a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and a three-time Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week.
Gaddis' selection marks the sixth straight year that Georgia State has had at least one player drafted. Eight Panthers have been drafted since 2014, including Nic Wilson (2014, Tampa Bay Rays), Chase Raffield (2014, St. Louis Cardinals), Matt Rose (2015, Chicago Cubs), Nathan Bates (2015, Los Angeles Angels), Joey Roach (2016, Tampa Bay Rays), Bryce Conley (2017, Oakland Athletics) and Nick Gatewood (2018, San Diego Padres).
Only two Georgia State student-athletes in any of the four major professional sports have been drafted higher than Gaddis - NBA first-round pick R.J. Hunter (2015, Boston Celtics) and NBA fourth-rounder George Pendleton (1977, Indiana Pacers).