Columbia lefty David Speer, CC ’14, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians Saturday.
Speer had an impressive career for the Light Blue, and was the Lions’ No. 1 starter in his junior and senior seasons. He helped Columbia win the first of two consecutive Ivy League titles as a junior in 2013, garnering first-team All-Ivy honors after going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in conference play, and pitched even better in 2014. Speer went 7-2 with a 1.86 ERA his senior year, and logged a 4-0 record in conference play to go undefeated in the Ancient Eight for the second straight year and earn Ivy League Pitcher of the Year honors.
Known for his pinpoint control, Speer posted the second-best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the country this season. He struck out 75 batters while walking just seven in 87 innings of work in 2014.
The former Lions ace also performed well in big games at Columbia, most notably in a 4-0 shutout win over Penn in a one-game playoff last month that allowed the Light Blue to defend its title. He also earned the win in Columbia’s victory over Dartmouth in the first game of this year’s Ivy League Championship Series, and while he was credited with a no-decision in the opener of the 2013 championship series, he logged 12 strikeouts and put the Light Blue in position to take home a 6-5 win in extra innings.
Speer, who started Columbia’s first game at NCAA Regionals in 2013 against Cal State Fullerton, was unavailable to pitch in this year’s tournament after an emergency appendectomy. Columbia was eliminated after suffering a pair of one-run losses, the first coming against Texas Tech, 3-2, and the second against Bethune-Cookman, 6-5.