David Starn has gone through his entire baseball career a victim of speed discrimination. But at each level, the young man who personifies the term crafty lefty has beaten the odds and proven that he knows how to pitch and win baseball games even if doesn’t throw hard enough to make the radar gun get excited. The lifetime Hudson resident was given a shot with the high-powered Walsh Jesuit High School baseball team and responded by being a starting pitcher for 3 seasons and helping the Warriors win Division II state championships in 2006 and 2008.
Kent State offered Starn a uniform and a chance to pitch. He developed into a 4-year letterman who established several school records including most wins (29) and was the ace of the staff when KSU made the first appearance in school history by a male team in an NCAA championship event in 2012 at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The former walk-on was named the Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2012 when he posted an 11-3 record and 2.25 ERA. He also earned second-team All-America honors. He was the MVP of the MAC Tournament in both 2011 and 2012 and was a first-team All-MAC honoree in 2011 and 2012 and a second-team selection in 2010.
Starn’s continued development and ability to consistently locate his pitches and change speeds convinced the pitching-rich Atlanta Braves to take a shot on him in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. Starn signed with the Braves and was sent to the franchise’s Class A team in Rome, Ga. Starn, who had been suffering from arm problems at the end of the long college season, pitched a couple games and then was shut down by the Braves.
He underwent labrum surgery on his pitching shoulder in May 2013 and spent the next 10 months rehabbing his shoulder in Orlando. Starn reported to the Braves’ spring training facility at the Disney complex in March and was released. Starn is continuing to work to regain his pitching form and is optimistic that he will be able to hook on with another organization next spring when his shoulder is completely healed. He also is continuing work to finish his degree at Kent State University.