Decatur High School alum Garrett Westberg is coming home, but this time as a Seattle Mariner.
Westberg, a 6-foot-2 200-pound right handed pitcher, was selected by the Seattle Mariners in round 26 (No. 786 overall) on the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Wednesday afternoon.
“It feels great to be drafted by the team that I grew up rooting for and watching,” Westberg said. “It was honestly the greatest feeling seeing that they had given me the opportunity.”
Going into the draft, Westberg said he didn’t want to get his hopes up despite knowing he had a decent chance at getting drafted.
“Some teams run out of money and stop going after certain guys, and some teams have certain guys they know they want to grab late,” he said. “You just never know what could happen.”
During his 2019 senior season at the University of Central Florida, Westberg made the most appearances among pitchers with 30 mound appearances for the Knights, posting a 3.38 ERA (earned run average) over 45 1/3 innings with 55 strikeouts and three saves.
As a junior, Westberg’s first career save came against No. 1 ranked Florida, and he was the second most used reliever for the Knights.
Prior to his career at UCF, Westberg pitched for two years at Tacoma Community College. At Decatur, he threw 74 innings with 107 strikeouts as a senior in 2015, earning First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference honors postseason.
“I’m most looking forward to having the chance to compete at higher and higher levels of competition,” he said. “ … The biggest challenge is understanding there are levels that you have to get through.”
One day Westberg said he hopes to be pitching in Seattle with a group of Decatur Gators and Tacoma Titans in the stands.