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Baseball: Phillies draft Karaffa in 20th round of MLB draft

The Lantern
Ohio State then-sophomore infielder Nate Karaffa (14) swings at a pitch during the Ohio State-Indiana game April 3, 2021. Ohio State won 5-2. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The Lantern

Junior pitcher Nate Karaffa was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 20th and final round of the MLB draft Tuesday.

The Phillies selected Karaffa with the No. 602 overall selection. The Toronto, Ohio, native spent the last three seasons at as many different positions, providing the Buckeyes with invaluable versatility.

Karaffa arrived at Ohio State as a shortstop, being named to the First Team All-Ohio three times and Ohio Division IV Player of the Year in 2019, according to Ohio State athletics. He collected 10 hits with nine RBIs in 13 games during the pandemic-impacted 2020 season.

Karaffa moved from the infield dirt to outfield grass after his true freshman season. In 2021, he hit .184 with nine hits and six runs batted in, but struck out 22 times in 49 at-bats.

Switching positions for yet another season, Karaffa made his Ohio State pitching debut with two scoreless innings against Indiana State Feb. 19. He made all 25 appearances from the bullpen, setting career-highs with four strikeouts against Rutgers April 29 and two innings pitched in four different games.

Across 100 at-bats in 56 games, Karaffa hit .190 with 15 RBIs and two home runs. On the mound, Karaffa pitched to a 3-1 career record with a 6.35 earned-run average and 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings.

Karaffa is the 113th all-time draft pick and 30th player under former head coach Greg Beals selected during the MLB draft. He joins seniors pitcher TJ Brock and shortstop Zach Dezenzo as Buckeyes chosen this summer.

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