Larson, Sims Selected in MLB Draft

June 5, 2002 · MT Media Relations
As expected, two Middle Tennessee baseball stars were selected on the first day of the Major League Baseball draft on Tuesday; however, there was one slight surprise.

The pundits had predicted that OF Justin Sims would go first, but it was RHP Adam Larson's selection in the 15th round by the Chicago White Sox that led off the draft for the Blue Raiders. Sims was selected in the 22nd round by the Minnesota Twins.

Larson, who was the 450th selection overall, turned in his first full season as a starter in his only year with the Blue Raiders. He went 3-7 on the year with a 5.11 ERA. Larson led the club in innings pitched at 91-2/3 and tossed a team-high four complete games. His 90 strikeouts also paced the team.

Larson came to Middle Tennessee after a three-year stint at Mississippi State, where he was mostly used out of the bullpen. He was a preseason All-America selection prior to his junior campaign as a Bulldog.

Sims, who was taken 622nd overall, becomes the second player in as many years to go to the Twins. Former Blue Raider Josh Renick was drafted by Minnesota in last year's draft and now competes at the Class A level in Ft. Myers, Fla.

Sims led was the Blue Raiders' triple crown winner this season, pacing the team with a .387 average, 11 homers, and 53 RBIs. Sims was named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference at the conclusion of the season, making him the first Blue Raider in history to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.

At least one more Blue Raider is expected to be drafted before the end of the day on Wednesday. OF Marshall Nisbett has drawn interest from several Major League clubs this season.

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