Champaign Central pitcher makes history in MLB draft

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Pictured: Alec Barger Pictured: Alec Barger

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – A pitcher from Champaign Central High School saw his name called in the MLB Draft.

The Milwaukee Brewers took Alec Barger in the 16th round of the 2018 draft. The prospect spent a year at Northern Illinois before transferring to Polk State College in Florida. That’s where The News-Gazette says his career started to blossom.

Barger transformed his game by focusing on his pitching and working his way up to becoming a starter.  At PSC, the paper says he recorded a 3.56 ERA in 17 games, along with 86 strikeouts and 16 walks.

The News-Gazette says Barger moved from Northern Illinois to PSC because he wasn’t entirely happy. He continued developing from a positional player to a full-time pitcher at the college level, eventually gaining the attention of scouts.

Maroons coach John Staab told The News-Gazette it was “apparent” to him that Barger’s best shot at the majors would be through pitching. He’s the first Champaign Central graduate to be drafted since Dan O’Neill, who went in the 27th round of the 1999 draft to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Right now, Barger is weighing continuing to grow in college at North Carolina State or moving to the majors. He told the newspaper he’s leaning toward going back to school right now.

Barger says his position in Maroons baseball history is “truly a blessing”.

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