Dodgers draft NSU’s Makarewich in 13th round

The 13th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft again was lucky for Northwestern State.

For the second straight year, a Demon right-handed pitcher was selected in the 13th round of the draft as the Los Angeles Dodgers selected junior Alex Makarewich on Tuesday with the 400th overall selection in the draft.

A second-team All-Southland Conference selection as a junior, Makarewich followed former teammate Johnathan Harmon, who was chosen in the 13th round of the 2022 MLB Draft by Cincinnati. In addition to the symmetry with his former teammate, Makarewich’s selection brought his baseball life full circle.

“I had discussed it with my advisor,” said Makarewich, a 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander who made 15 starts in 2023 after spending his first two seasons in the NSU bullpen. “To finally get the call and the confirmation I was going to be a Dodger was a surreal feeling. Growing up in L.A., I was a Dodgers fan. My dad was a big Dodgers fan. We went to a few games. Throughout the years, I’ve always pulled for the Dodgers. To get picked by them was a surreal feeling. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Makarewich posted a 5-5 record in his lone season as a starter, striking out 89 hitters in 72 1-3 innings. The 89 strikeouts are the eighth-best single season total in school history and ranked him 103rd nationally.

Makarewich was stringy to opposing hitters, limiting them to a .208 batting average and 6.59 hits per nine innings – the 25th best number nationally. His 11.07 strikeouts per nine innings were second in the Southland Conference and ranked 66th in the country.

His selection marks the sixth straight season the Demons have had a Major League Baseball draftee and the fifth straight season in which a Northwestern State pitcher has heard his name called. Makarewich is the third Demon drafted by the Dodgers – the first since Clifton Glidewell in 2000.

The six straight seasons with a draftee extends the school record and is the longest active streak of any Southland Conference school.

Despite recent graduations to the major league level, the Dodgers remain one of baseball’s top farm systems, a fact of which Makarewich was familiar.

“I think it’s the best place for me,” he said. “The way I pitch, throwing off the slider with a lot of ride. Learning a new breaking ball. Developmentally, the Dodgers are the peak of baseball. They’re the best at taking the guys they think they can work with and making them 10 times better. I’m excited about it.”

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