Karan Patel, 22, of Sugar Land, TX, has become the second-highest draft pick by Chicago White Sox in 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB).
On the second day of the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft, right-handed pitcher Patel was picked on June 5. Patel also became the first pitcher in the 28-year history of the program to record 100 strikeouts in a season.
The 6-foot 215-pound 2019 MLB Draft is not only a standout pitcher from the University of Texas-San Antonio, but also a successful cricket player.
“It comes from my dad [Kuldeep],” Patel was quoted as saying shortly after being selected by the White Sox. “He grew up playing. He made the national team for the USA and just growing up, he always had me around.
“Slowly I got into it, and then as high school came around, I took it more seriously and got my first opportunity in 2012 to represent the Under-19 USA team. Got another chance in '15 and a third chance in '16.”
Patel started off in cricket as a bowler, which is the pitcher. He became more of a batsman as time went on, and worked his way into being a two-way player.
Playing cricket has actually assisted Patel’s baseball development, despite the fact that when throwing the ball in cricket, you have to keep a round arm and can’t bend your elbow.
“It helps my arm slot and my ability to spin the ball,” Patel said. “And I mean, I got into better shape over the last two years. I just slowly figured out who I am and what kind of pitcher I was. Not doing stuff outside of what I can do.”
Patel becomes the 40th player in the history of the program to be drafted. At least one UTSA player has been drafted or signed every year of the program's history except 1993 and 1996. Since 2000, the Roadrunners had at least one player drafted every year except 2001, 2007 and 2016.
Son of Kuldeep and Deepali Patel, Patel is majoring in finance at the University of Texas, San Antonio.