MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis pitcher Jonathan Bowlan was surprised to hear his name called Monday night in the Major League Baseball Draft.
But it came early, as the Kansas City Royals selected Bowlan in the 2nd round of the Draft.
"I was speechless. I was just filled with excitement. I didn't know what to do honestly; it was so surreal," Bowlan said.
Bowlan, drafted at pick 58, is the second-highest pick of any Memphis Tiger. Only Dave Anderson went higher, going number 22 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981.
Bowlan racked up a 3.71 ERA with 104 strikeouts in 14 starts in his junior season at Memphis.
The former Bartlett High School star set a school and conference record with an 18-strikeout complete game against USF earlier this season.
All 18 strikeouts came on swinging strikes--the most in Division I baseball this year.
So Bowlan was expecting to get drafted, but he said he wasn't expecting to hear his name called on the first day of the draft!
"The fact that the Royals went out of their way to invite me into their organization, it's amazing," Bowlan said.
Bowlan's father was also a big leaguer. Mark Bowlan was a 19th round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1989 out of Memphis.
In an amazing coincidence, Mark's birthday is June 5. That's the same day Jonathan will officially sign with the Royals.
"It's been a great experience, an experience I'll never forget," Bowlan said.