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Xander Hamilton
Xander Hamilton struck out a career high 15 batters in a road win at 8th ranked Coastal Carolina this past season.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State’s Hamilton Drafted by Minnesota Twins

App State right-handed pitcher Xander Hamilton has been selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 14th round of the 2023 MLB First Year Player’s Draft.

Hamilton becomes the 46th App State player to be drafted by a Major League organization and the fifth in the Kermit Smith era.

The Raleigh, N.C., native enjoyed a record-breaking season for the Mountaineers in 2023. Hamilton set the program’s single-season strikeout record with 115, ranking 17th in the nation, while leading the Sun Belt at the conclusion of the regular season.

Hamilton’s 115 strikeouts came in just 87.2 innings, and he held opponents to a .257 batting average.

A first-team all-conference selection, Hamilton’s season was highlighted by his performance against No. 8 Coastal Carolina on May 5. That evening in Conway, S.C., Hamilton struck out a school-record 15 batters and yielded just one hit in a career-high eight innings. Hamilton also fanned a then-career-high 13 against Louisiana on March 31, earning Sun Belt player of the Week honors after both outings.

Hamilton struck out at least nine batters in seven of his 16 starts on the season. He finished the year with an 8-4 record, tying him for 10th on App State’s single-season wins list. He boasted a 6-1 mark in Sun Belt play, and the Mountaineers went 11-5 overall in his outings.

The Virginia Tech transfer got off to a sensational start in 2022, earning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week honors after an App State debut in which he struck out 10 batters in 6.1 innings against Campbell on opening weekend. Hamilton struck out 51 batters across his first five outings in a Black and Gold uniform, placing him second in the nation five weeks into the season. He finished the year with 62 strikeouts in 43.2 innings despite having his season cut short due to injury.

Hamilton was named the Cap 7 Pitcher of the Year as a high school senior for Needham B. Broughton, where he recorded a 5-3 record, a 1.80 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. Hamilton made nine appearances in two seasons with the Hokies before transferring to App State in the fall of 2021.