By Pete Ruden
Iowa baseball’s best starter and best reliever have now been drafted.
Shortly after Nick Allgeyer was taken in the 12th round by the Toronto
Blue Jays, the Atlanta Braves selected Zach Daniels with the No. 562
pick in the 19th round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Dargan Southard of the Des Moines Register said Daniels will
forgo his senior season with the Hawkeyes and sign with Atlanta.
Daniels was stellar in all three of his Hawkeye seasons, never posting
an ERA above 3.22. In 25 appearances in 2018, Daniels boasted a 6-2
record with a 2.56 ERA and knocked out 49 strikeouts in 45.2 innings
of work. He also secured 5 saves. Opponents struggled
against Daniels, hitting just .200 against the Robins, Iowa, native.
Daniels showed his versatility this season when he tossed a
season-high 4 scoreless innings on April 29 against No. 7 Michigan,
scattering just 2 hits. After starter Cole McDonald suffered an
injury, Daniels stepped up to keep the Wolverines off the base paths
for the most part until Tyler Cropley secured the win – and the series
with a walk-off home run.
Daniels’ impressive season came off the heels of a 2017 in which he
was a key man out of the bullpen, serving as something of a setup man
for main closer Josh Martsching and closing some games.
In his sophomore season, Daniels finished with a 7-3 record with a
3.22 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 50.1 innings. He also earned a Big Ten
Pitcher of the Week award on March 27.