Amir Garrett is getting the best of two worlds right now.
At St. John’s, he is part of a solid young team that could catch some by surprise in the Big East in 2012-13. During the off-season, he’s pitching in the Cincinnati Reds farm system after being drafted in the 22nd round of the 2012 MLB Draft.
On Tuesday news came from Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin that Garrett was to be called up from the Arizona League Reds to the Billings Mustangs, the Reds’ Rookie League affiliate.
While with the Arizona League Reds, Garrett appeared in seven games, throwing 14 innings and striking out 13 batters, with an ERA of 5.79.
For Garrett, much of the talk about his baseball career hinges on potential: a 6-6 lefty whose fastball was clocked at 96 MPH on the radar gun during a pre-draft workout.
And though it’s not unusual for college athletes to take a shot at pro baseball while still playing another sport in college—see: football players Drew Henson, Ricky Williams—it’s less common for basketball players to have both going for them.
Garrett came to St. John’s in the middle of the 2011-12 season after being ruled ineligible for the first semester. After gaining eligibility, he averaged 7.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for a team that finished 13-19, including 6-12 in the Big East.
“Baseball’s always going to be there for me,” Garrett told the New York Times this spring. “I don’t know, something about it; when I start playing baseball, I get into it really quick. I get back into the motions. I always snap back into baseball mode once I step on the diamond.”
For this upcoming season, the Red Storm will be without one of their stars from last season, forward Moe Harkless, who left for the NBA Draft and was selected 15th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Lavin welcomes another large recruiting class to Queens, led by forwards JaKarr Sampson and Chris Obekpa.