St. John's received a bit of good news on the baseball front on Tuesday morning, and it has nothing to do with its own baseball program.
Amir Garrett, the Red Storm basketball forward who has spent this summer in Arizona playing rookie league baseball in the Cincinnati Reds organization, has been promoted up a level to Single A. Just a few weeks before returning to Queens, Garrett is jumping on a flight to Montana where he will join the Billings Mustangs on Tuesday.
In 14 innings pitched (7 appearances, 5 starts) for the Arizona League Reds, Garrett accumulated a 5.79 ERA and allowed 9 earned runs on 14 hits. His first few games were shaky, but he has been better of late including 7 strikeouts in his last 7.2 innings.
Garrett, who is expected to be an important piece of Steve Lavin's young Johnnies basketball squad this season, was granted the opportunity to bypass St. John's team summer workouts to work on his pitching career. The Reds signed him to a contract that will pay Garrett $1 million over the course of five years, which also allows the two-sport athlete to attend school and hit the hardwood during the offseason.
Some baseball scouts, including Baseball America, consider Garrett as a top-20 prospect in the Reds organization. As a left-handed pitcher who throws in the mid-90's, he will be sure to receive many opportunities to make his baseball dream come true and get the call to the big leagues. Good southpaws are often hard to find.
Per Coach Steve Lavin (who tweeted the detail), Garrett will make two starts for the Billings Mustangs before leaving the team to join his teammates at St. John's to prepare for the upcoming hoops season. He averaged 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game as a freshman a year ago.