June 8, 2013

Locastro opens draft for D-III nation

Fourteen players were selected in the 2013 MLB draft from Division III schools.  

Tim Locastro, SS, Ithaca

Toronto Blue Jays, 13th round, No. 385 overall

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 185.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Auburn, Ala.

Ithaca shortstop Tim Locastro was drafted  by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Major League Baseball draft, the first player from a D-III school. Locastro was taken in the 13th round, with the 385th overall pick. He was a First Team All-American as selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association and a Second-Team All-America pick by D3baseball.com.

Locastro recently completed a record-setting season for the Bombers. He set program single-season records in runs (71) and stolen bases (40). He also led all NCAA Division III players in reaching base via being hit by a pitch 29 times, another school record. Locastro batted .436 with 13 doubles, six triples and four home runs.

He was part of an Ithaca team that set a school record with 41 wins and finished third in the NCAA Division III College World Series. The Bombers made it to the championship weekend for the first time since 1994.

In addition to his All-America honors, Locastro also earned First Team honors in the New York Region by the ABCA and D3baseball.com and was Empire 8 Player of the Year as well as an all-conference first-team pick. He was named to the all-tournament teams at the NCAA Division III World Series and the New York Regional.

Joseph Odom, C, Huntingdon

Atlanta Braves, 13th round, No. 403 overall

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 200
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Vestavia Hills, Ala.

Huntingdon catcher Joseph Odom remembers watching the Atlanta Braves as a kid.

The thought of playing professional baseball was more than just a dream for Odom, it became a goal. On Saturday, Odom moved one step closer to that goal when he was drafted by the Braves in the 13th round of the MLB Draft.

"I used to think Javy Lopez had the best job in the world," Odom said of the former Braves catcher. "That's what I wanted to do. It's still what I want to do. I feel blessed. It's exciting to be able to pursue your dream.

"When you're a kid, people always ask you what you're going to be when you grow up. My answer was always that I'm going to be a professional baseball player. Most people don't take you seriously and tell you that's a one-in-a-million chance. I've had to work hard for everything I've accomplished, but I've always believed I could do it."

Odom is Huntingdon's first draft pick since pitcher James Moody was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1989. As the 403rd overall pick, Odom is the highest draft pick in Huntingdon history.

"He's worked hard for this opportunity and we're all proud of him," Huntingdon coach D.J. Conville said. "He's a guy that had a lot of potential when he came here and he worked hard to become the player he is. You look at the season he had this year and that is a result of dedication and hard work."

Odom helped lead Huntingdon to a 32-11 record this past season, the Hawks' first NCAA Regional and the program's first two NCAA Regional victories. Odom earned second-team All-American honors and first-team All-South Region recognition as he led Division III with 14 home runs and was among the national leaders with 60 RBIs and a .706 slugging percentage.

He finished with a .369 batting average, 45 runs and 10 doubles. In three seasons with the Hawks, Odom has 28 home runs, 145 RBIs and 110 runs on 160 hits.

"It's been a stressful couple of days. But getting that phone call today, it was pretty awesome," Odom said. "I thank Huntingdon College for so many opportunities. I don't know where I would be without Huntingdon. It's been a blessing to be part of this program, play for these coaches and play with the teammates I've had. I thank my coaches and teammates for believing in me and pushing me and I want to make them proud."

Austin Chrismon, RHP, Christopher Newport

Houston Astros, 26th round, No. 767 overall

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 230.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Newport News, Va.

With the first pick of the 26th round in the 2013 Major League draft, the Houston Astros selected Christopher Newport junior pitcher Austin Chrismon. He becomes the first draft pick in the 32-year history of the Christopher Newport program. 

Chrismon was a third team All-American and was also tabbed the South Region Pitcher of the Year. He hauled in a pair of All-Region accolades and was a first team All-Conference pick. The 2013 USA South Pitcher of the Year, Chrismon finished his first year with the Captains with a 7-4 record and a 1.74 ERA. His earned run average was the second best single season mark in program history, behind Kenny Moreland's 2005 campaign, and ranked among the Top 50 nationally.

Chrismon helped anchor a pitching staff that ranked first in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings, as he mowed down 86 batters in 78.0 innings of work. He set a CNU record with 18 strikeouts in a game when he took on the Greensboro Pride, breaking a nine-year-old record set by Mike Cosby in 2004. Chrismon pitched 10 quality starts in 11 appearances this year, and helped guide CNU to a regular season conference title in the USA South.

The 6-2 right-handed pitcher transferred in to play for the Captains from East Carolina University where he pitched for two years. This marks the second time the Astros have showed interest in Chrismon, as the Houston-based team drafted him with pick No. 963 in the 32nd round out of high school. 

CNU has seen four players reach the professional level, all signed as undrafted free agents. They were Kenny Moreland (2008-12), Travis Bingler (2000), Mark Parnell (1988-92) and Trae Bailey (2009).

Photo by Andrew Zavonia, d3photography.com

Dakota Dill, RHP, Sul Ross State

Atlanta Braves, 26th round, No. 793 overall

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 220.
Bats: Left. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Spring, Texas

Senior RHP/DH Dakota Dill was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 26th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.

This past season, Dill led the Lobos with a 4-2 record in 10 appearances. He also recorded 58 strikeouts and an 4.29 ERA, allowing just 57 hits in 50.1 innings. In 106 at-bats, Dill hit .340 with 36 hits, 20 RBIs, and 24 runs scored.

His ERA ballooned by more than two runs in one outing vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor in April. After starting 5-for-23 at the plate, Dill finished at a .373 clip.

Dill was named to the 2013 American Southwest Conference All-West Divison Team earning Second-Team honors at both the DH and starting pitcher positions. In 2012, Dill was named ASC All-West Division Newcomer of the Year and earned First Team honors at the DH position.

Joel Effertz, RHP,  UW-La Crosse

Miami Marlins, 28th round, No. 832 overall

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 235.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Ladysmith, Wis.

UW-La Crosse junior right-handed pitcher Joel Effertz was made the 28th pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 MLB Draft. Effertz was selected as a member of the 2013 ABCA All-Midwest Division III Third Team. He was also named to the 2013 All-WIAC First Team.  

In his first season at UW-L, Effertz finished 5-4 with a 2.87 earned run average in 2013. His five victories and 2.87 ERA both rank second on the team. Effertz recorded a team-leading 11 starts and 60 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .245 batting average. He was second on the team in innings (69.0), tied for second in complete games (3) and appearances (12). 

Effertz earned a 4-1 victory over second-ranked St. Thomas on March 10 in his first appearance of the season. He went 6.0 innings, allowing two hits and one unearned run with seven strikeouts. Effertz earned the victory over St. Scholastica March 28, going 7.0 innings, allowing one hit and one earned run while striking out nine. 

He also recorded victories over UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville and UW-Stout. Versus UW-Platteville April 21, Effertz recorded a season-high 12 strikeouts with one walk. He pitched 7.0 innings, allowing one earned run. Effertz pitched complete-games in his last two appearances of the season versus nationally-ranked UW-Stevens Point. He allowed one earned run in 9.0 innings with nine strikeouts against the Pointers May 11 at the WIAC Tournament. 

Prior to coming to UW-L, Effertz attended Virginia in 2012, appearing in nine games with two starts. 

Previously Effertz was drafted twice. He was selected out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers (37th round in 2009) and following his sophomore year at Madison Junior College by the Chicago White Sox (43rd round in 2011).

Conor Bierfeldt, OF, Western Connecticut State

Baltimore Orioles, 29th round, No. 879 overall

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 220.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Torrington, Conn.

Western Connecticut State University senior Conor Bierfeldt was a 29th round selection of the Balitomre Orioles. Bierfeldt has been named to the D3baseball.com Third Team All-American squad.

This past spring, Bierfeldt led the Colonials in virtually every offensive category.  He batted .396, had nine home runs, four triples, 16 doubles and had 54 runs batted in.  He scored 40 runs, had a .776 slugging percentage and .506 on-base percentage.

From the bump, he was 1-2 with 19 strike outs and six walks over 28 innings for the 17-24 Colonials.

During his final season, Bierfeldt manned centerfield, threw off the mound, sported the catcher's gear and swung the bat as Head Coach John Susi's designated hitter.

Ryan Ullmann, RHP, Concordia (Texas)

Washington Nationals, 30th round, No. 916 overall

Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 225.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Bryan, Texas

Concordia (Texas) senior pitcher Ryan Ullmann was chosen in the 30th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft by the Washington Nationals on the final day of the draft. Ullmann, who was selected 916th overall, is the third player in school history to be drafted.

Ullmann, a native of Bryan, Texas, was named the ASC West Division Pitcher of the Year and landed on the D3baseball.com All-West Region Third Team this past spring. He finished his senior campaign with a 6-4 record and a 1.52 earned run average to go along with 61 strikeouts over 77 innings of work. He also threw seven complete games, including four shutouts, and only allowed opponents to bat .223 against him this season. Ullmann, who went 25 consecutive innings over five appearances without issuing a walk, was also named the ASC West Division Pitcher of the Week a league-best three times and made the D3baseball.com National Team of the Week once.

Pitcher Michael Johnson was the last Concordia baseball player to be drafted when he was selected by the New York Mets in the 24th round and 734th overall in 2009. Richard King was the institution's first-ever MLB draft pick in 1993 when he was chosen in the 29th round and 811th overall by the Cleveland Indians.

Max Beatty, RHP,  Pacific Lutheran

San Diego Padres, 32nd round, No. 958 overall

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 220.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Vancouver, Wash.

A story of tragedy-turned-triumph for Pacific Lutheran pitcher Max Beatty moved into the spectacular range when Beatty was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

Beatty, who made a triumphant return to PLU baseball in 2013 after missing the entire 2012 season after a diagnosis and treatment for testicular cancer, was thrilled to receive a call from Padres, making him the 958th overall pick of the draft.

"I am beyond excited and happy for this opportunity, not just for me but for my family," Beatty stated. "I have the greatest friends and family and am so excited to seize this moment for myself and for them."

Beatty was originally diagnosed with testicular cancer in December 2011. After surgery to remove both testicles, he went through five rounds of chemotherapy treatment before he given a clean bill of health. The 6-2, 220-pound right-hander started his comeback in the summer of 2012 with the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast Baseball League, and on Feb. 4, 2013, he was the starting pitcher for Pacific Lutheran against Concordia-Portland in the Lutes' season opener.

He earned second team All-Northwest Conference recognition and earned his team's Most Valuable Player award after finishing the season with a 7-5 record and 2.48 earned run average. Beatty threw three complete game shutouts in 13 starts.

"It's an amazing day to be a Lute," PLU baseball head coach Geoff Loomis said. "Considering the obstacles that have been put in front of Max, I couldn't be more proud and happy for him and his family."

Rob Rogers, RHP, Keystone

Los Angeles Dodgers, 32nd round, No. 964 overall

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 205.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Islip, N.Y.

Rob Rogers will have an opportunity to continue his baseball career as the Los Angeles Dodgers selected the standout righty in the 32nd round of the MLB Daft.

The senior pitcher enjoyed a sensational season and was selected to the D3baseball.com All-American First Team after being named the site's Mid-Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year. The awards continued to add up for Rogers who was also named an ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-American.
 
Rogers, who was previously named First Team All-Region selection by both D3baseball.com and the American Baseball Coaches Association, was selected the Colonial States Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and closed his stellar career for the Giants by being selected to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional All-Tournament Team after posting a pair of shutout wins including a one-hitter over eventual regional champion Kean.
 
The righty posted a 10-2 record in 16 starts including six complete games and two shutouts.  Rogers posted an outstanding 1.34 ERA while striking out a school record 114 batters in 101.1 innings pitched on the season.  Opponents batted just .190 against the senior, who earned CSAC Pitcher of the Week honors four times this spring and was named the D3baseball.com Pitcher of the Week on April 23rd.
 
Rogers closed out his senior year ranked among the national leaders in multiple pitching categories, highlighted by a Division III-best 114 strikeouts while also leading the nation in games started.  The right-hander's 10 wins on the season are tied for seventh in the country and his 1.34 ERA is 13th best and helped lead Keystone's pitching staff to a Division III-leading 2.07 ERA.  Rogers is also ranked in the top-30 in the country in strikeouts per nine innings (21st – 10.16), complete games (25th – 6), and hits allowed per nine innings (29th – 6.33)
 
Rogers finished his career as Keystone's all-time leader in strikeouts with 245 over the past three seasons and is also the Giants' all-time career leader with a 1.72 ERA and ranks fourth in program history with 23 wins for his career.

Tyger Pederson, 2B, Redlands (Pacific, Calif.)

Los Angeles Dodgers, 33rd round, No. 994 overall

Ht.: 6-10 Wt.: 185
Bats: Left. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif.

Pacific senior Tyger Pederson was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 33rd round on day three of the MLB Draft.

Pederson hit .274 in three seasons with Pacific, after joining the Tigers from Redlands. He scored 60 runs in his career while driving in 44 runs, with 13 doubles. Pederson also drew 49 walks in his career, for a .349 on-base percentage. With a pair of triples and one home run, he posted 16 career extra base hits.

As his senior year came to a close, Pederson reached base safely in 17 of his final 18 games, including a nine-game hitting streak. He posted 22 multi-hit games, including a career-best 5-for-5against No. 13 Cal in 2011, sparking the Tigers' win over the ranked Golden Bears.

Pederson joins the same organization as two family members. His brother Joc was drafted in the 2010 MLB Draft out of high school and is hitting .308 through 60 games at the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate in Chattanooga. Their father Stu Pederson, was drafted by the Dodgers in 1981 and played in eight games in the majors in 1985.

Jesse Weiss, 1B, Kenyon

Milwaukee Brewers, 36th round, No. 1082 overall

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 200.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.

Recent Kenyon graduate Jesse Weiss was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in Saturday's 36th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft. With the selection, Weiss became the second Kenyon baseball player to be drafted in the last two years.

During his final collegiate baseball season at Kenyon, Weiss, who mainly served as Kenyon's designated hitter, played in all 37 games and posted a .311 batting average. He led the team in slugging percentage (.557), home runs (4), and walks (23). He ranked second on the team in runs scored (38) and doubles (16), while also producing 32 runs batted in and a .433 on-base percentage.

Weiss was a three-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference honoree and was voted one of Kenyon's Senior Athletes of the Year. Throughout his four-year career with the Lords, he mashed 150 hits, sported a .357 batting average, scored 103 runs, and had 102 RBI. All five of those numbers rank fifth all-time in the history of the Kenyon program. Additionally, his 47 career doubles rank second-best in the Kenyon record book, while his 223 total bases rank third, and his .531 career slugging percentage ranks eighth.

Weiss was selected as the 1,082nd player overall in the 40-round draft. One year ago, the Baltimore Orioles used the 1,152nd pick to select Kenyon catcher Jack Graham in the 40th round.

Garrett Smith, 2B, California Lutheran

Cleveland Indians, 37th round, No. 1101 overall

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 178.
Bats: Both. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif.

On the final day of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft Cal Lutheran graduate Garrett Smith was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 37th round to become the 23rd draft pick in school history.

Smith, who produced the best season of his four-year collegiate career this spring, is no stranger to the realm of professional baseball as he grew up with his father, Steve, managing and coaching in both the minor and major leagues.

The Cal Lutheran second baseman earned Second Team All-SCIAC and Third Team ABCA/Rawlings All-West Region accolades after a stellar senior season. He started 40 games at second base and appeared in 43 total contests this year. Defensively, Smith was part of 16 double plays with 78 putouts and 100 assists.

Offensively he was primarily the No. 9 batter and hit at a .350 clip with 50 hits, including eight doubles, three triples and two home runs, driving in 43 runs for the Kingsmen. Smith reached base 70 total times with 12 walks as he was hit by eight pitches. Once aboard, he was a threat on the bases, going 9-for-11 in stolen base attempts and came around to score 34 runs for the Violet and Gold.

During the season he strung together a 13-game hit streak and at one point reached base safely in 18 straight. Smith finished with 13 multi-hit games and turned in 12 multi-RBI performances. Smith was an integral part of the 2013 SCIAC championship and SCIAC tournament title as the Kingsmen finished 35-9-1 after competing in the West Regionals in Austin, Texas.

Smith is the fourth CLU second baseman drafted, joining David Iden (2009), Brian Skaug (2003) and the first Kingsmen player to be drafted into MLB, Robert Fulewider (1969). He is the second player to come out of Cal Lutheran and be selected by the Cleveland Indians, following the footsteps of right handed pitcher Tom Canale who went in the 10th round in 2000.

Kevin Herget, RHP, Kean

St. Loius Cardinals, 39th round, No. 1175 overall

Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 185.
Bats: Left. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Park Ridge, N.J.

Kevin Herget was made a late-round choice of the St. Loius Cardinals in the 2013 MLB Draft. The Cardinals used their 39th pick to chose the All-American pitcher. Herget was a second-team selection on the D3baseball.com All-American team. Herget is the fourth Cougar in history to earn second-team status from D3baseball.com.

Herget, a senior pitcher, was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference and New Jersey College Baseball Association Pitcher of the Year by unanimous acclaim this season. He boasts a 9-2 record with a 1.57 ERA in 103 innings pitched. He has struck out 97 batters and held opponents to just a .208 batting average.

"There was a point early in his career when I told Kevin in front of our whole bench that he had the ability to be the best pitcher in the state [of New Jersey]," said coach Neil Ioviero. "He's the type of guy that you want your son to be like, and your daughter to marry. It's a tribute to his parents who obviously raised him right."

Tyler Brunnemann, RHP, Hardin-Simmons

Houston Astros, 40th round, No. 1187 overall

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 225.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Garden Ridge, Texas

Hardin-Simmons senior pitcher Tyler Brunnemann became the first player of the program's Division III era to be selected in the Major League draft as he was selected in the 40th round by the Houston Astros.

Brunnemann, a senior from Garden Ridge, went 1-1 with a school-record 10 saves this season. He struck out 62 batters and walked just three in 40 innings of work and allowed only five runs all season.

"I am excited to get the opportunity," said Brunnemann. "It just shows you that if you work hard good things happen. I am just going to take it as far as I can. I appreciate everything that Hardin-Simmons has done for me, especially my coaches and teammates."  

He was a four-time all-ASC selection at HSU and went 13-4 with 16 saves and a 2.12 ERA. He worked 144 and one-third innings in his career and set a non-scholarship era strikeout record with 186. 

"That is a big honor for Tyler," said Steve Coleman. "He is the first one I have had drafted in my time here. He works hard, he throws hard and he continues to get better. We are proud of him and his accomplishments."

PJ Cerreto, RHP, Ramapo

Cincinnati Reds, 40th round, No. 1215 overall

Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 230.
Bats: Right. Throws: Right.
Hometown: Paramus, N.J.

Ramapo standout P.J. Cerreto was drafted with the 1215th overall pick by Cincinnati in the Major League Baseball draft.

Cerreto, who completed his collegiate career this past spring, was a 40th round selection of the Reds. As a right handed pitcher, Cerreto finished his senior season with a 2-1 record on the mound. He recorded a 2.72 ERA in six appearances. He recorded 60 strikeouts in 39.2 innings pitched.

Cerreto had three games with double-digit strikeouts, including a 16-K performance in his first appearance of the season, against Bowdoin. He followed that with 15 strikeouts in seven shutout innings against eventual NESCAC champ Amherst.

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