Garbrick has shot at dream in pros

Mill Hall native Alex Garbrick’s childhood dream came to fruition Wednesday when he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 40th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.

The redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher and former Central Mountain Wildcat is currently enrolled and playing baseball at Morehead State. He now has the opportunity to play at the next level for the franchise he grew up cheering for.

“I’ve been a Yankees fan since the day I knew what baseball was,” Garbrick said.

“I was on the back porch of my house with my mom, dad, sister, girlfriend and my cousin following the draft tracker on MLB.com and we saw my name pop up before I even got a call or anything and my mom started yelling,” he said.

The freshly drafted pitcher missed his entire 2018 campaign at Morehead State after getting elbow surgery but already had his sights set on the next level and wasn’t going to let an injury hold him back. He worked and grinded through rehab to return to the field to see the interest was there still, and stronger than ever.

“First time I realized this was really a possibility was my freshman year of college. I made really big strides in velocity and grew a lot as a pitcher when I got to college. This season I had a handful of teams that were interested and said they were going to come watch me,” Garbrick said. “Earlier in the draft there were a couple teams in consideration I thought might pick me up and it didn’t happen but I just kept watching and waiting.”

Garbrick is no stranger to a big stage. In 2011, Garbrick was part of the run that engulfed Pennsylvania by playing in the Little League Word Series with Keystone. That team was the first area team to appear at the World Series since Newberry in 1969.

Over the course of five games, Keystone played in front of estimated crowds totaling 160,000 people, and 42,000 people in their first Little League World Series game against Kentucky.

“Everything I’ve been through so far has made me ready for this. Going back to Little League and playing in front of all of those fans in Lamade Stadium, I had thousands of fans watching me at once,” Garbrick said. “Then in high school, I had to work hard to be the best and in college everyone was the best in high school. So I have to work even harder to be the best at this level. So if I get the opportunity to play for the Yankees I’m going to keep that same mentality.”

Up next for the Yankee prospect is to head to the New England region where he will join the Cape Cod League in the next few weeks as soon as a roster spot opens up. The Yankees will have until the mid-July deadline to make the Morehead State pitcher an offer. At that time Garbrick has the opportunity to accept or return to college and open up his eligibility to be drafted again next year.

As far as support, since Garbrick has been home from school and been drafted, he’s been lauded with praise and well wishes in the Lock Haven community.

“It’s been crazy. My phone has been blowing up non stop. I’ve gotten hundreds of text messages and tweets sent to me,” Garbrick said. “It’s awesome to know the support I have here, and from my coaches and teammates at Morehead. It’s been cool to see and I really appreciate everyone.”

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