And another one's gone.
Right handed pitcher Mike King, considered the staff ace at the beginning of the 2016 season and the most seasoned starter of the Boston College pitching staff, signed a professional contract with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. By signing, King forfeits his final year of eligibility to begin his career for the team that chose him in the 12th round of this year's MLB Entry Draft.
King, a Bishop Hendricken graduate and native of Warwick, Rhode Island, matriculated to Boston College with the reputation of being a surgeon on the mound. A two-seam fastball pitcher with a sinker, he developed into a Rembrandt on the hill in his three years at The Heights. Though he didn't overpower pitchers with his strikeout numbers, his pitch-to-contact mentality combined with solid defense to turn him into the stalwart success story of the BC pitching staff.
After throwing just 43 innings in 16 appearances during the 2014 season, he worked his way into the regular starting rotation during the '15 season. Though he went just 1-5 for the Eagles, he started eight of his 14 appearances, throwing two complete games, including one shutout victory, while recording two saves. He tallied 62.1 innings, striking out 52 to just 12 walks, allowing 21 earned runs.
When he returned for his junior season, he was among the nation's must-watch prospects, a top-200 type guy who entered as the weekend ace for the Eagles. He immediately shined, helping BC win games in his first four starts and six of his first eight. Through his first four appearances, he threw nearly 30 innings, striking out 20 to just four walks. He plateaued in the middle of the season despite going 8.1 innings against FSU, switching to the Sunday starter role when BC reworked their rotation against Virginia.
After suffering back-to-back subpar outings against Notre Dame and Louisville, he threw a complete game against Virginia Tech and rallied the Eagles as part of a rotation that led the team to the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. In the Oxford Regional, he threw 6.2 innings against Utah in the second round, scattering three runs on seven hits. A week later, after the Eagles swept the regional, he threw six innings to assist in a BC victory over Miami, forcing a deciding third game.
While Justin Dunn's power pitching prowess received much of the attention this past season, King quietly developed into BC's most reliable starter for the entire year. He won eight games while becoming the first Eagle to win at least seven in six years. He also set a proram record for innings pitched, becoming the first BC pitcher with over 100 innings thrown in a single year, throwing 104. He had a nearly 2:1 strikeouts to walks ratio with 64 K's to just 31 walks, and he started 16 of his 17 appearances on the year, making his only relief appearance during the ACC Tournament against Georgia Tech.
Both Dunn and King are now professionals, along with catcher Nick Sciortino, meaning BC will need to replace two-thirds of its weekend rotation next year, along with the complementary component of their ACC battery.
It was not immediately known where King will start his career, but it's likely he could wind up in short-season Single-A ball with the Batavia Muckdogs. Members of the New York-Penn League, King would become the third straight Eagle to join the league after Nick Sciortino was assigned to Lowell after signing with Boston and Justin Dunn was assigned to Brooklyn by the New York Mets. The Muckdogs play in the Pinckney Division alongside the minor league affiliates of Washington, Cleveland, and St. Louis.