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ASU's 50 Best Professional Athlets: No. 20 Baseball's Mike Leake

Coming in at No. 20 on our list of the 50 best professional athletes to attend Arizona State is a pitcher who went straight t to the major leagues after being drafted in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

There are few pitchers in baseball more reliable than former Sun Devil Mike Leake. The Fallbrook, Calif., native has started at least 21 games in each season he has been in the major leagues, including 2016. His career-high ERA is just 4.58 and he averages 211 innings per year.

Leake immediately made an impact at Arizona State, earning First Team All-Pac-10 honors as a freshman in 2007. In 2008, he won Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year after going 11-3 with an 3.49 ERA and a conference-leading 121.1 innings pitched.

After winning National Player of the Year in 2009, Leake was drafted with the 8th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds in that year's draft. After a lengthy contract negotiation, he did not pitch in the minor leagues in 2009, however earned a spot in the Cincinnati rotation in 2010, making him one of only a few pitchers to not log an inning in the minor leagues.

As a rookie, he went 8-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 138.1 innings.

Leake won a career-high 14 games in 2013 and also posted his career-best 3.37 ERA that year, helping the Reds earn a trip to the postseason. After logging a career-high 214.1 innings in 2014, Leake was traded during the 2015 season to the San Francisco Giants.

Leake hit free agency after the 2015 season and cashed in with a 5-year. $80 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2016, he holds an 8-8 record with a 4.50 ERA.

While he may never be an ace, Leake's longevity as a middle of the rotation starter places him at No. 20 on our countdown. Check back tomorrow to see who comes in at No. 19.