In the 2016 Class 3A State Tournament semifinals, Lemont’s Ryan Sublette showed the kind of overpowering stuff that you might imagine seeing at the highest level of baseball.
He struck out a 3A state record 14 batters in that game, a record that still stands, in a 10-2 victory over St. Viator. And now that same stuff has gotten him a step closer to possibly playing at the highest level, as he was selected Monday in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sublette was selected with the 222nd overall pick and the final pick of the seventh round.
“It’s pretty awesome for him and his family,” Lemont coach Brian Storako said. “He’s worked hard to get there, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
After departing Lemont, Sublette went on to Texas Tech University, where he eventually settled into the Red Raiders bullpen where he blossomed in 2021, putting together a 6-3 record with three saves. He truly developed into a strikeout pitcher as well, notching 62 strikeouts in just more than 42 innings pitched.
Batters hit only .183 against him in his senior season and he surrendered only one home run.
Sublette started his career at Texas Tech as a starter but struggled his freshman season before being moved to the bullpen. Things started to click for Sublette in Texas Tech’s COVID-19-shortened season in 2020 as he had 15 strikeouts in only six appearances [nine innings] and a 3.86 earned run average with two wins, posting career highs at that point at Texas Tech in both of those categories.
“He’s always had it,” Storako said. “The last game he threw for us he had it, and we knew he always had it. It’s just a matter of getting opportunities and making the best of them. I think this year it really clicked for him, he was actually doing pretty well before the COVID shutdown and it carried over into this season. Again, its confidence, when you go to play at a Top 10 program like Texas Tech you have to make adjustments, and it took him a little longer to make the adjustment but he figured it out and he had a great career there.”
In Sublette’s senior season at Lemont, the Indians were unable to get back to the state tournament to defend the state title they achieved in 2016, but Sublette pitched the Indians past Joliet Catholic with a 3-0 win in a regional final before Lemont bowed out in the sectional round wth a loss to Oak Forest.
In his junior season at Lemont, Sublette finished 8-1 with a 2.05 ERA with 77 strikeouts. He threw the state tournament semifinal game that season, striking out that state record 14 in Lemont’s 10-2 win over St. Viator. The Indians won the state championship the next day with a 10-0 win over Springfield in the state championship.
Sublette also was on Lemont’s state championship team in 2014 as a freshman. He did not appear in the state tournament that season but went 5-0 in the regular season with a 1.95 ERA.
Plainfield East’s Hoffman taken in 12th round
Plainfield East graduate Andrew Hoffman (2018) was chosen by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round (pick 367 overall).
Hoffman most recently was at the University of Illinois where he earned third-team All Big Ten Honors after going 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA in 11 starts. Batters hit only .209 against Hoffman in 2021.
Before Hoffman’s stop at the University of Illinois he spent the COVID-19 shortened season at John A. Logan. He went 5-0 with 46 strikeouts in only 26 innings for John Logan.
In 2019, Hoffman was at Oakland Community College but really broke out in the collegiate Northwoods Baseball League that summer. He went 8-0 with a 1.08 ERA and was named Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year.
Hoffman also has compiled a rather unique string in regards to pitching decisions. He’s now made 34 consecutive starts without being tagged with a loss through his stops in the Northwoods League, John Logan and Illinois.