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Mars' Bednar selected by S.F. Giants

Mississippi State pitcher and Mars graduate Will Bednar was selected 14th overall by the San Francisco Giants in Sunday night's MLB Draft.
Pitcher chosen 14th overall

ADAMS TWP — Coming off a College World Series performance that earned him the tourney's Most Outstanding Player, Mars graduate Will Bednar was selected 14th overall by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the MLB Draft Sunday night.

The 6-foot-2, 229-pound Bednar recently completed his red-shirt freshman season at Mississippi State with a stellar performance in the CWS.

The right-hander struck out 15 Texas players in the semifinal round, then followed that up with six no-hit innings in the third and deciding game of the tournament finals against Vanderbilt.

When asked by MLB Network if he felt his draft stock rising during the CWS, Bednar replied: “Not really. I was just locked in on us winning the national championship, going one game at a time and doing what I could to help the team.”

Surrounded by family as his pick was announced, Bednar described the moment as “awesome” and “electric.”

“We're all very excited about this,” he said.

Bednar posted a 3.12 earned run average at Mississippi State this season, striking out 129 in 92.1 innings pitched. His ERA was 1.29 during the CWS.

He averaged 5.06 strikeouts per every walk during his college career and his slider was rated among the best in the 2021 draft class by and Baseball America.

Bednar's fastball averaged between 92 and 95 miles per hour this season, topping out at 97 at times.

His older brother, David, is a relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was credited with the win in Sunday's 6-5 Pittsburgh win over the New York Mets.

“Having an older brother, we've always been competitive ... even playing catch in the yard,” Will Bednar told MLB Network. “We always bust each other's chops over who throws harder.”

Will said he texted his brother before each start he made in the CWS.

“He told me to treat it like any other game,” the younger Bednar said.

Reached after Will's CWS performance, David Bednar said he was “impressed with the composure he showed and the way he attacked the hitters.”

Bednar was the seventh pitcher selected in the draft. He was the fourth collegiate pitcher taken as Vanderbilt's Jack Leiter went to the Texas Rangers with the second pick, Miami of Ohio's Sam Bachman to the Los Angeles Angels with the ninth pick and Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker to to the New York Mets with the 10th selection.

Bednar did not pitch his senior season at Mars due to bicep tendonitis. His first season at Mississippi State was curtailed — as was all of college baseball — by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He had a 1.76 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched with 23 strikeouts during the Bulldogs' abbreviated 2020 season.