The Chattahoochee Valley Community College baseball team’s list of professional baseball players under Coach Adam Thomas got one person longer on Tuesday, as former Pirate pitcher, Derek Varnadore, was selected in the 9th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the New York Yankees.
Varnadore, who just completed his senior season at Auburn University, pitched at CVCC from 2009-10. As the only freshman starter on the Pirate staff in 2009, Varney posted a 6-5 record with 94 strikeouts in only 80 innings. He followed his up his freshman season by leading the 2012 team to a 42-8 record and # 2 national ranking. That year, Varney went 7-1 with 103 strikeouts in 80 more innings and surpassed former CVCC and AU star and current Atlanta Brave, Tim Hudson’s career strikeout total, as he punched out 103 batters in his CV tenure. Furthermore, Derek’s name sits among the top 10 in nearly every single season and career pitching mark at Chattahoochee Valley.
After CVCC, Derek signed a baseball scholarship to pitch at Auburn and he became the Tiger ace his junior year, posting a 6-3 record with a 3.83 ERA. As the Friday night starter in 2012, the wins did not come as easy, but after a move to the bullpen as a late inning stopper, Varney found his niche, as his fastball consistently sat in the 94-96 mph range, while topping at 98 mph. Additionally, Derek led the Tigers in strikeouts both his junior and senior season.
Varnadore was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 17th round in 2011, but elected to return for his senior season. Derek becomes the 2nd top 10 round draft pick under Coach Thomas, joining former Pirate teammate, Jeff Shields, who was selected in the 7th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010.