Former Florida A&M Hunter Viets is moving on to the next stage of his baseball career as the Rattler pitcher signed on to play for the Frederick Keys of the MLB Draft League earlier this month. Viets is one of two former FAMU athletes playing for the Thunder and one of a dozen total former NAIA ballplayers currently on MLB Draft team rosters.
During his two years in a Rattler uniform, Viets stats on the mound. The Pensacola, Florida native in 2023 was 8-2 across 16 games started, 3.45 earned run average in 16 appearances, totaling 91.1 innings pitched, recording 81 strikeouts. Career stats 3.21 ERA, 16-6, 31 games, 182 innings on the hill, finished his collegiate career with 174 strikeouts.
Florida A&M head coach Jamey Shouppe stated “I am surprised that Hunter Viets did not get an opportunity to sign a professional contract since he was one of the better pitchers in the SWAC the last two seasons. Pitching in the MLB Draft League will give him an opportunity to throw in front of more scouts. I am confident that he will get the opportunity to sign a pro contract as a result of playing in the MLB Draft League. He has worked hard and deserves a chance to pitch in professional baseball.”
The MLB Draft League was formed in 2021 following Major League Baseball’s reorganization of the minor leagues. Featuring six teams, the MLB Draft League splits its season into two parts.
During the initial 30 games of the year, the league adopts an amateur format featuring draft-eligible players hoping to improve their position ahead of the annual MLB Draft. Over the course of the final 50 games, the MLB Draft League transitions to a professional format featuring ballplayers who have exhausted their amateur eligibility. Each professional player receives weekly compensation, travel, housing and meal money while attempting to propel their team to the MLB Draft League title.
The Frederick Keys are based in Frederick, Maryland.