As expected, Andrew Heaney had a quick wait in New York on Monday night.
With the ninth pick of the 2012 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins selected Heaney, making Oklahoma State's junior southpaw the first left-handed college pitcher off the board.
“I'm very excited,” Heaney said to MLB Network. “Just so happy, words can't explain it.”
Heaney is the highest Oklahoma State draftee since Monty Fariss was taken sixth overall in the 1988 draft by the Texas Rangers. That year, Robin Ventura was taken 10th by the Chicago White Sox.
Throughout his recently completed junior season, one in which he went 6-2 with a 1.60 ERA, Heaney skyrocketed up mock draft boards.
Using a smooth delivery and powerful arm, Heaney led the nation with 140 strikeouts and only walked 22.
“The thing about him, is that he throws a lot of strikes,” MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds said. “He really challenges hitters. They could move him quick.”
This was the second time Heaney has been drafted.
Heaney was taken out of Putnam City High School in the 24th round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
But this time, after the Marlins made him their first selection, Heaney is likely to sign a lucrative contract.
Last year's ninth overall pick, Javier Baez, was given a $2.66 million signing bonus from the Chicago Cubs.
“Andrew has a legitimate three-pitch mix,” MLB Network analyst John Hart said. “Can command both sides of the plate and is a tremendous competitor.”
The consensus on the draft show was that Heaney could be a quick riser, using his polished stuff to rapidly rise through the minor league ranks.
Reynolds even threw out the idea of the Marlins rushing him in the next couple years, utilizing him out of the bullpen as a matchup lefty.
“I follow (the NL East),” Heaney said. “I watch it and all those teams are playing very well right now. Hopefully I'll be up there soon and helping those guys out.”