Former Evansville Otters pitcher Matt Wivinis was selected by the Texas Rangers as the second overall pick in the Triple-A Phase of the 2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft Thursday.
Wivinis’ selection by the Rangers comes after the right-hander spent 2017-19 in the New York Yankees organization, who signed him out of Evansville following the 2016 Frontier League championship season.
Wivinis was the fourth player in Otters’ history to be signed by the Yankees organization out of Evansville.
With the Yankees organization, Wivinis reached as high as Double-A Trenton.
In three seasons overall with the Yankees minor league system, Wivinis was 8-8 with a 2.23 ERA in 101 appearances. He recorded 39 saves with 178 strikeouts in 137 innings. Wivinis also posted a WHIP of 0.964, 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 4.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Wivinis played a huge role in the Otters’ 2016 championship run. He made five starts in 12 total appearances for Evansville, going 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA. In 39.2 innings in an Otters uniform, he struck out 43 batters, did not give up a single home run, and averaged nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Wivinis was the starting pitcher for game 1 of the Championship Series, allowing only one run over eight innings in the 2-1 victory.
Wivinis will have an Otters connection within the Rangers organization, as former Evansville Otters pitcher and pitching coach Brendan Sagara was named as a co-pitching coach for the Texas Rangers at the Major League level in late October.
Former Frontier Greys pitcher Ariel Hernandez was the top overall pick in the 2015 Triple-A Rule 5 draft, being selected by the Cincinnati Reds after beginning the season in the Frontier League. Hernandez made 19 MLB appearances for Cincinnati during the 2017 season.
2020 MLB Rule 5 Draft Coverage and Results: https://www.mlb.com/news/2020-rule-5-draft-results?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage
The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.
The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.