By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Haverford College right-hander Tommy Bergjans rewrote the record books for the Division III Fords during four dominant years on campus.
A three-time All-American, Bergjans is Haverford’s all-time leader in ERA (1.69), wins (27), innings pitched (282 2/3) and strikeouts (374).
As you can imagine, that success caught the attention of Major League scouts and Bergjans was selected in last week’s MLB Draft in the 8th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What makes this extra special is the fact that Bergjans is a Southern California native who grew up rooting for the Dodgers.
“That’s the thing,” Bergjans tells KYW Newsradio. “Obviously I just wanted to be picked by anybody. I had no preferences really, whoever selected me first, I was going to be incredibly happy. But for it to be the Dodgers is pretty awesome.”
Listen: Tommy Bergjans with KYW’s Matt Leon
Bergjans says he had an idea the Dodgers were interested in him and felt there was a pretty good chance that he would be taken on the second day of the draft. He talks about the moments leading up to his name being called.
“My advisor just gave me a call at the end of the seventh (round) and told me, ‘It looks like the Dodgers are going to pick you in the eighth (round),” Bergjans says. “So that’s when I started tuning in. I put on the MLB (Network), they had a little show. That was about the longest twenty minutes of my life after I heard that they might take me in the eighth round and waiting for every pick, just watching every single name go down.”
Bergjans spent the vast majority of his time at Haverford as the ace of the starting rotation but says he’s not sure how he will be used yet in the pros.
“Obviously, I’d like to start,” Bergjans says. “I don’t know what role they want me to be in. I could either be starting or relieving. But I think what they do like is my breaking pitch, my curve ball. It does get a lot of swings and misses and I think it would be something that fares well in the bullpen if they choose to use me that way. I also throw a lot of strikes and like to go at hitters, so I think that’d be something they like. But then again I, obviously, just because I’ve done it a lot, would love to get a chance to start and see if I could develop that way.”
Bergjans is slated to start his pro career with the Advanced Rookie league squad of the Dodgers in Ogden, Utah, the Raptors.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.