CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. – Finger Lakes Community College Baseball alumni, Tanner Cooper, has been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft to the Cincinnati Reds. Cooper was selected in the 35th round as the 1044th pick overall.
Cooper spent this past year as a Laker and had an outstanding season. Offensively, he had a .411 batting average, a .521 on base percentage, and a .714 slugging percentage. He had 79 hits, 16 doubles, nine triples, 71 RBI's, and scored 57 runs. In addition to his stellar offensive stats, he had even more impressive pitching stats. In his 12 mound appearances, he won eight games and lost four. Out of the 72.1 innings pitched, he allowed 45 hits and only 17 runs, 13 of them being earned runs. He had a 1.62 earned run average, and a record breaking 136 strikeouts.
Cooper was not only a stat leader for the Lakers, but he led the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Baseball as well. He was fifth in the nation in RBI's and earned run average. He also led the nation in strikeouts. He had 22 more than the pitcher with the second-most strikeouts.
Even though Cooper was only a Lakers for one year, he still broke a few school records. He has the most runs batted in in a season with 71, and most strikeouts in a season and in his career with 136.
In addition to being drafted, Cooper was selected as both the Mid-State Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region III Player of the Year.
"Tanner is a phenomenal baseball talent," stated Head Coach Sean Marren. "Whether it was hitting, pitching or defense, he excelled in all areas."
When asked about what it was like to coach Cooper, Marren said, "Coaching Tanner was a lot of fun. The thing I will always remember about him during his time in the program, is not how good he was on the field, but for who he is as a person."
Describing what it was like the moment he was drafted, Cooper said, "My whole family was around the computer waiting to see if it would happen. When my name popped up, I got chills and everyone around me started yelling."
Cooper had dreamt of this moment his whole life. "I had a coach tell me that I wouldn't play Division I Baseball and wouldn't get drafted," said Cooper. "Proving people like that wrong has just been an outstanding bonus."
His practice and years of training has led up to this moment. FLCC was a small step in his path, but made an impact on Cooper. "Being a Laker is something that I will cherish forever. I have made friends that I will have for a lifetime, and learned so much from Coach Marren and the rest of the staff," explained Cooper.
In his final thoughts about Cooper, Coach Marren said, "Tanner is a tremendous leader, teammate and an overall special individual with a very bright future. He had brought a lot of pride to our program and we are extremely proud of him."