Varsho picked in MLB Draft’s special round following Round 2
By Paul Lecker
Daulton Varsho, a 2014 graduate of Marshfield High School, will soon realize his dream of playing professional baseball as he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks on the first day of the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday night.
Varsho became the highest-drafted player ever from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee after being picked 68th overall and first in the Competitive Balance Round B, which immediately followed the second round. The eight picks in the round are given by MLB to small-market and small-payroll teams to help foster competitive balance.
Varsho, a four-time all-Wisconsin Valley Conference choice while playing at Marshfield, was the WVC Player of the Year as a senior in 2014 when he hit .419 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in conference play. He hit .405 with a conference-best 19 runs scored as a junior and earned unanimous first-team all-conference honors in both his junior and senior seasons.
Varsho was a first-team all-state selection as a senior and a second-team pick as a junior by the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association, and he was named the state’s top infielder/catcher on the Wisconsin Sports Network Senior Baseball Awards in 2014.
At UW-Milwaukee, Varsho was a two-time all-Horizon League player, including being named Player of the Year in 2016.
He was a third-team All-American by Baseball America this season after leading the Horizon League in batting average (.362), slugging percentage (.643), on-base percentage (.490), triples (six), and walks (46) while also finishing fourth in total bases (128), fifth in hits (72), sixth with a team-high 11 home runs, and seventh in runs scored (47).
Varsho, who will turn 21 years old on July 2, is the son of 1979 Marshfield High School graduate and Tiger Hall of Famer Gary Varsho.
Gary Varsho went on to star at UW-Oshkosh and was a fifth-round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 1982. He went on to play eight seasons in the Major Leagues with the Cubs (1988-90), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1991-92, 94), the Cincinnati Reds (1993), and the Philadelphia Phillies (1995). He hit .244, mostly in a reserve and pinch-hitting role, with 10 career home runs.
He went on to become manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 1997 and 1998 and the Reading Phillies from 1999-2001 before becoming the Phillies’ bench coach from 2002-2006. He also served as a minor league instructor in the Cleveland organization, as bench coach of the Pirates from 2008-2010, and a scout for the Los Angeles Angels and the Pirates.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)