Dan Tobik, a four-year member of the UT Martin baseball team from 2010-13, was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 39th round (1,177th overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft over the weekend.
With Tobik’s selection, the Skyhawk baseball program has now produced MLB Draft picks in three straight years. In 2011, Trey Karlen was drafted in the 33rd round by the Washington Nationals, while Alec Mills was picked by the Kansas City Royals in the 22nd round of the 2012 MLB Draft.
Tobik now has an opportunity to carry on a family legacy of professional baseball as his father Dave pitched in the major leagues for eight years (1978-85) with the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.
Tobik will go down as one of the best pitchers in UT Martin baseball history. Despite spending two of his seasons as a full-time starter, the 6-4 right-hander out of Ballwin, Mo., is the Skyhawks’ all-time saves leader with eight. He also ranks second in UTM history in career strikeouts (263) and appearances (80) while ranking third in innings pitched (275.0) and seventh in games started (30).
Known for his ability to put batters away via the punchout, Tobik is the only Skyhawk in program history to record two top-10 strikeout seasons (71 in 2013, 67 in 2011). His 71 strikeouts this past season ranked seventh in the OVVC, while his strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio (10.31) was the third-best mark in the league.
Tobik’s best season came as a reliever during his junior campaign in 2012. He led the OVC in opponent batting average (.212), strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio (10.80, 12th in the nation) and least home runs allowed (zero in 55 innings). He sported a 2.78 ERA (third-best in the OVC) in a career-high 27 appearances, notching three victories and five saves out of the bullpen.
Tobik also led the OVC in games started (15) and innings pitched (91) as a sophomore and led the league in least home runs allowed (two in 67 innings) and ranked second in ERA (3.63) as a freshman in 2010.
This past season, Tobik allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his 12 starts. He logged at least five strikeouts in eight of those starts, including a pair of double-digit strikeout games. He fanned a career-high 12 batters in only six innings against OVC regular season champion Tennessee Tech on March 12.
Tobik’s summer league performance in 2012 surely opened scouts’ eyes. His team — the Wareham Gatemen — captured the championship in the Cape Cod League, the premier summer organization for collegiate players. In eight of his 14 appearances, the hard-throwing righty recorded two or more strikeouts.
In a three-game stretch from July 26 through Aug. 3, he struck out 15 batters over 52⁄3 innings. Overall, he fanned 39 batters in 301⁄3 innings for a 11.6 strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio.
Published in The Messenger 6.10.13