June 7, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior RHP Dan Slania was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the 26th pick of the fifth round and No. 162 overall in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Slania is the second Irish player chosen in this year's draft. Fellow junior 3B Eric Jagielo was drafted with the 26th overall selection by the New York Yankees.
Slania and Jagielo give Notre Dame multiple draft picks in the top-five rounds of the draft for the first time since 2004. The tandem continues a long trend of Irish players improving their draft status following three years at Notre Dame. Slania was a 42nd round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2010, while Jagielo was a 50th round selection of the Chicago Cubs. Seventeen of the last 20 Notre Dame signees who were drafted out of high school went on to be higher-round draft picks as members of the Irish baseball program.
"It has always been my dream to play professional baseball, but I also love the University of Notre Dame," said Slania. "It will be a difficult decision moving forward, but I'm fortunate to have two wonderful options. I'm honored that the San Francisco Giants, one of the storied franchises in Major League Baseball, have offered me an opportunity to play professional baseball.
"I've always valued my education and the college experience as well. Thankfully, I have a great group of coaches and family that will help me make the appropriate decision."
"Danny has proven himself to be one of the elite closers in college baseball," said Notre Dame coach Mik Aoki. "I'm thrilled that the San Francisco Giants recognized his talents. Having said that, I think he's a kid that can pitch himself into the top three rounds of next year's draft if he were to return for his senior season. It will be a difficult decision for Danny but we will support him through either path he chooses."
Slania was named to the midseason watch lists for both the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. He was named second team all-BIG EAST each of the last two seasons. Slania went 3-1 in 2013 with 13 saves (in 15 chances) and a sparkling 1.21 earned-run average. He allowed just 47 hits in 59.1 innings of work over 24 relief appearances. Slania's foes registered a .217 batting average. He fanned 43 and walked 11. Slania only allowed eight earned runs all year.
Slania's three-year career numbers, include a 1.71 earned-run average, 8-4 record, 78 appearances, 30 saves, 121.0 innings, 111 hits allowed, 34 runs allowed, 23 earned runs allowed, 100 strikeouts and 32 walks. He did not allow a home run over the last three years and opponents' collected a .248 batting average.
Slania is the 17th Notre Dame player selected in the top five rounds over the past 23 years, dating back to the 1989 draft.
Slania displayed one of the gutsiest pitching performances in school history on May 3, 2013, against USF yet it went for naught. The right-handed hurler, who allowed a two-out, game-tying two-run double in the top of the ninth inning that tied the score, 2-2, rebounded with 7.1 consecutive scoreless innings afterwards. Slania retired 21 of the last 23 USF batters he faced.
Slania picked up a pair of multiple-inning saves in the doubleheader sweep of Seton Hall on Mar. 23, 2013. He tossed a combined 3.1 scoreless innings of relief (1.1 in opener and 2.0 in nightcap) as Notre Dame collected a pair of 3-2 victories. He entered the opener of the twin bill with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Notre Dame clinging to a 3-2 lead and the potential tying run at third base. He got a pop out to end the threat. Slania then worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to secure the triumph. In the night cap, Slania came into the game with runners on second and third, no outs and proceeded to retire the next three Pirates to end the threat, including stranding the potential tying run at third base. He then allowed a one-out single in the ninth, but got a ground out to end the game with the tying run once again in scoring position.
Slania registered saves on back-to-back days to secure the series victory at No. 20 Cal Poly. He was asked to get the final six outs of the series finale with the Irish clinging to a one-run lead. Slania did surrender a leadoff single to open the bottom of the eighth inning, but retired the final six Mustangs of the game to seal the victory. In the 1-0 victory over No. 20 Cal Poly on Mar. 15, 2013, Slania allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but collected consecutive strikeouts and enduced a pop out to secure the triumph.
Slania picked up a victory and save as the Irish collected a pair of victories at the Dodgertown Classic in early March, 2013. He earned the save in a 2-1 victory over USC and the win in a 6-5 triumph over No. 10 Oklahoma. Slania combined to throw 5.1 scoreless innings of relief over his two outings against the Trojans and Sooners. He allowed just three hits and limited USC and Oklahoma to a .167 opponent's batting average. Slania struck out three and did not issue a walk.
Slania picked up the save with 2.0 scoreless innings against USC. He retired the first four Trojans before working out of a jam in the ninth inning. With the Irish clinging to a 2-1 lead, he allowed back-to-back, one-out singles that placed the tying run on third base and winning run on first base. Slania the induced a game-ending double play when he caught a popped up bunt and doubled off the runner at third base.
Slania earned the victory in Notre Dame's 6-5 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma. He logged 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Slania struck out two and limited the Sooners to one base hit.
Slania picked up the victory in relief against Tennessee on Mar. 1. He tossed 3.1 perfect innings of relief - retiring all 10 Volunteers he faced. Slania also fanned three.
Slania captured the 2012 Russ Ford Award (given to the top relief pitcher in the Cape Cod League). He led the Cape with 10 saves and helped Cotuit post the league's best regular-season record (30-14). Slania went 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA and 39 punch outs.
The three-day draft continues on Friday and Saturday. Check back to www.und.com and @NDBaseball for further draft updates.
SLANIA'S HONORS & AWARDS
SLANIA'S PLACE IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOKS
SLANIA'S PLACE IN THE BIG EAST RECORD BOOKS (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)
SLANIA'S CAREER HIGHS
Innings pitched: 9.0, USF, May 03, 2013
Walks allowed: 4, at USF, Mar 30, 2012 ; Michigan, May 04, 2011
Strikeouts: 7, USF, May 03, 2013
Batters faced: 36, USF, May 03, 2013
Field chances: 3, vs Gonzaga, Mar 19, 2011
Putouts: 1, 10 times
Assists: 2, Western Michigan, Apr 11, 2012 ; vs Gonzaga, Mar 19, 2011
Runners CS: 1, at Winthrop, Mar 04, 2011 ; vs Iowa, Mar 17, 2011 ; Pittsburgh, Mar 23, 2012