GREENSBORO (June 14, 2007) – North Carolina A&T pitcher Cutter Noah Dyals (5-foot-11, 200, JR, Tampa, Fla.) sat with his immediate family as he watched and listened online to the Atlanta Braves select him 500th overall in the 17th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft. While he heard the most exciting news of his life with that family, he spent the moments after talking about another family.
“Nothing could have been better for me this year than to go to North Carolina A&T,” an excited Dyals said. “I want to give a shot out to my coaches, the A&T staff, Ms. Katrina Allen (Center for Academic Excellence coordinator), just the whole A&T family for getting me through this year. They got me through all the good and the bad.”
Two days before Dyals was scheduled to attend N.C. A&T, his father Garry Dyals died. A devastated Dyals had a hard time adjusting to a new environment while grieving. Despite the difficulties, Dyals said many people from N.C. A&T stood by him and a wave support continued to flow his way.
“That meant the world to me,” said Dyals. “The support was coming from everywhere – the staff, my teachers, my coaches – it felt like family. There was nothing like it. They hung in there with me and helped me through the whole nine years.”
Dyals, 21, becomes the 19th player in program history to be selected in the MLB draft. The last Aggie selected was Luke Tendler in 2014. Dyals knew his dream of being drafted was close to coming true when he received a call from Braves scout Billy Best Tuesday night. Dyals said Best's message was ‘It could happen at any time.' From there, Dyals had to agonizingly wait with his fingers crossed the whole time, he described. Approximately at 1:20 p.m., Wednesday, the wait was over.
“It is a big honor to be selected in the major league baseball draft,” said N.C. A&T coach Ben Hall. “It is testament to his work ethic. I've said many times; I wouldn't trade him for any reliever in the country. He is one of the most dominant pitchers I've seen pitch in the back end of a game. He has a highly competitive nature to the way he plays the game, which plays a major part in how successful he is. Kudos to him.”
Dyals spent one season with the Aggies after transferring from Eastern Florida State Community College. He piqued the interest of MLB scouts with his ability to throw strikes and keep hitters off balance. Dyals finished the 2017 season with an impressive 0.50 earned run average. Out of the 20 runners he inherited, only six have scored. In 20 appearances, he is 6-0 this season with seven saves and 40 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched.
Opponents only batted .190 against Dyals this season. He only gave up seven hits in 48 at-bats (.146) with runners in scoring position, while striking out 19 of those batters in the process. Right-handers hit only .183 (15-for-82) against Dyals and struck out 28 times. Dyals ended the season by earning first-team All-MEAC honors and he was on the Midseason Watch List for the 13th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award.
“This is another sign of where our program is,” said Hall. “I'm excited that young men are coming in here and not only showing talent and ability, but they are developing. They're putting themselves in position to attract professional opportunities.”
Dyals' Aggie family and his immediate family may not have to wait long to see him pitch. Dyals could be in uniform for an Atlanta Braves minor league baseball affiliate by next week.