Stone signs free-agent deal with Arizona Diamondbacks


Courtesy of Tyler Stone

Tyler Stone throws a pitch for McNeese State at Joe Miller Ballpark.

MANNY WILLIS, Staff Writer

Former Eastfield pitcher Tyler Stone is now pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rookie league team after signing a free-agent deal this summer.

Stone had 179 strikeouts with the Eastfield Harvesters from 2018 to 2019 and will now be joining the Diamondbacks after playing for McNeese State in the Division I Southland Conference.

“After the draft, I was a little disappointed not getting that phone call right away or that night, but I had seen the scout watching me at
games and we would have small conversations,” Stone said. “He ended up giving me a call and asked to sign. I never thought this was going to happen to me after being a late bloomer, but it’s here now and  couldn’t be happier.”

Stone played for Rockwall High School and then committed to Stephen F. Austin. However, he was redshirted his first year.

“I had already talked to coach [Michael] Martin from Eastfield, and he was wanting to give me an opportunity to play for him,” Stone said. “After that semester, I went to Eastfield for two seasons and really found my confidence there.”

Stone averaged 12.55 strikeouts per game in 80.1 innings pitched for the Harvesters, making 15 appearances in the 2018-2019 season. He posted a 4.37 ERA and a 5-4 record.

“Tyler was one of our main guys. He was a leader on our pitching staff, worked hard, was a great kid,” Martin said. “He got better here…. His mechanics were OK, and he had a great arm back then. I felt he had a great opportunity to develop here at Eastfield. He doesn’t have a pitcher’s body, being around 6 feet, but the fact he was able to sign with the Diamondbacks, it’s amazing.”

Courtesy of Tyler Stone

Stone transferred to the University of Texas at Permian Basin and then to McNeese State to play for one season.

“I had some frustrating moments at UTPB but there were some bright spots there,” Stone said. “McNeese was where everything began to come together, and it showed on the mound and stats. My confidence grew and I began to believe more and more that I had a chance.”

Tyler is not the first Eastfield student to play professional baseball. Players such as Ryan Roberts, Travis Brewster and Will Brunson were all drafted and played professionally, while other alumni played independent baseball.

“We’ve always had confidence in what we do to [help students] have an opportunity to move on,” Martin said. “Our program welcomes players who are wanting to develop and to get chances that not everyone can have.”

Stone said he will continue to work hard and grow as a player.

“I want to reach my goal of making it to the big leagues, and it starts with success now,” Stone said. “I have the resources around me to do so, and it’s an awesome feeling to be a part of this organization.”