The Illini’s all-time saves leader is heading to the minors, whenever that once again becomes a thing.
Garrett Acton signed as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
Acton led the nation in saves during both of his seasons in Champaign, including a Big Ten record 19 saves in 2019. He was also Illinois’ first Academic All-American in 20 years.
On Instagram, Acton wrote: “I am excited to announce that I have officially signed a Free Agent contract with the Oakland Athletics. Thank you to my friends, family, teammates and coaches for the help and support along the way. I could not be more appreciative and thankful to have been a part of Illinois baseball and to wear the block I these last two years.”
Acton, who transferred after two seasons at Parkland, finished his Illinois career with a 1.82 ERA, 25 saves, and 42 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings over 36 appearances. He had a save in 35.7% (25/70) of Illinois’ games over the last two years and saved 56.8% (25/44) of Illinois’ wins during his time in Champaign.
He broke Illinois’ career saves record in his final game, an 8-7 win at Elon on March 8 before the Illini’s season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.