When he made the decision to play basketball at St. John’s in 2011, 6-foot-8 wing Amir Garrett was also on the receiving end of attention from professional baseball scouts. As a left-handed pitcher, Garrett was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22nd round of the 2011 MLB Draft and given a $1 million signing bonus by the organization. While playing basketball during the school year, Garrett honed his craft on the diamond during the summer and he’s developed into one of the top pitching prospects in the Reds organization.
Following the 2012-13 basketball season Garrett decided to leave St. John’s, landing at Cal-State Northridge where he was expected to be an impact addition for Reggie Theus this season. But things have changed for Garrett, as he announced via his Twitter account Thursday that he’s decided to give up basketball in order to concentrate on baseball.
Pitching for Class A Dayton this season, Garrett’s put together a record of six wins and six losses with an ERA of 3.41. Now that he’s decided to focus entirely on baseball, it will be interesting to see what Garrett is able to do with his pitching career. The athleticism is definitely there, but splitting time between the two sports likely limited Garrett’s ability to refine his tools from a pitching standpoint.
This is a tough personnel loss for the Matadors, but they do return leading scorers Stephan Hicks (17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Stephen Maxwell (17.5, 8.8) from last year’s team. CSUN also adds an eight-member freshman class to the fold, including an All-CIF selection in Ajon Efferson who averaged nearly 28 points per game as a senior at Pasadena (California) HS.