PELLA — One of the great players to play baseball at Pella has signed his first professional contract. Class of 2016 graduate Grant Judkins signed a contract on Monday as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland A’s.
Judkins might have had a chance to hear his name called if the draft didn’t drop from 40 rounds to five rounds due to the Coronavirus pandemic. That didn’t stop Judkins as he will join the Oakland A’s organization and start in the minor leagues whenever those teams return to play.
Judkins was an Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year and Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Player of the Year in 2016. He would lead Pella to two straight state tournament semifinals where he was a dominant two-way player.
Judkins finished high school with a career .431 batting average and a 1.34 ERA to go with 337 strikeouts in 240 2/3 innings as a four-year starter for the Dutch.
He then went on to play college ball at the University of Iowa where he finished with eight wins and a 3.72 ERA over 42 appearances with the Hawkeyes. He would rack up 149 strikeouts against 57 walks in 164 1/3 innings and was a member of the starting rotation his junior and senior year.
Judkins was a two-time Big Ten pitcher of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week during his career at Iowa.