Photo by Ben Brown

Former Southern Lee High School and Campbell University pitcher Thomas Harrington is a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, taken with the 36th overall pick in tonight’s Major League Baseball Draft.

Harrington, the Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore this season after leading all NCAA pitchers with 12 wins, was the second Fighting Camel taken in the draft Sunday night after shortstop Zach Neto went 13th overall to the Los Angeles Angels. Harrington joins a Pirates team that earlier in the night selected highly touted high school infielder Termarr Johnson from Atlanta.

The 36th overall pick in the draft is valued at $2.15 million, according to At 13 and 36, Neto and Harrington are the two highest draft picks in Campbell University history (previously, pitcher Seth Johnson went 40th in 2019).

Harrington finished the 2022 season 12-2 with a 2.53 ERA, setting program records for wins and strikeouts (111). He had the second-lowest ERA and third-lowest WHIP in the nation among pitchers with at least 90 innings. He went six innings in ever start this year, and he turned in quality starts in 11 straight appearances.

He was a five-time Big South Pitcher of the Week in 2022 — the only player in conference history to accomplish that feat — and in addition to being Big South Pitcher of the Year, he was the conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year. Harrington was also the first Camel to ever be named a Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist.

He told The Rant in July that his dreams in pro baseball are big: “If I’m going to do this, I want to win a bunch of World Series championships and be a Hall of Famer some day. I want this to end with a speech in Cooperstown. Why not?”

The Rant will have more on this story — including reactions from Harrington and his family and the Pirates — this week.