Strong Showing for Cape League in Day 1 of MLB Draft

SECAUCUS, N.J. – 10 former Cape Cod Baseball League players were selected in the first and compensatory rounds of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft Monday night, marking yet another successful showing in the draft for the nation’s most prestigious collegiate summer baseball league. 

Bourne Braves supporters did not have to wait long as former 1st baseman Brendan McKay of the University of Louisville was taken 4th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays. The two-time John Olerud Award Winner and 2017 Collegiate Player of the Year, hit .283 for the Braves in the summer of 2015.

Shortly after McKay was picked, a pair of Virginia Cavaliers heard their names called as the Diamondbacks drafted 1st baseman Pavin Smith at number 7 and outfielder Adam Haseley was drafted by the Phillies at number 8. Smith mashed for the Harwich Mariners in 2016 posting a .318 batting average with 4 HRs and 18 RBIs. For his efforts, he was named a starter at DH for the East Division all-star team. Haseley, roamed the outfield for the Orleans Firebirds and was also named a starter for the East Division.

Not to be outdone by their ACC rivals, the University of North Carolina stole the show on draft day with three players picked on day one. Right-hander J.B. Bukauskas was selected 15th by the 1st place Houston Astros, shortstop Logan Warmoth went 22nd to the Toronto Blue Jays, and outfielder Brian Miller went 36th overall to the Miami Marlins. Miller, an all-star selection from the Orleans Firebirds in 2016, lit the league on fire at the plate en route to posting a .327 batting average. Bukauskas fired 17 strikeouts to just 2 walks in nearly 10 innings of work for the Chatham Anglers and Warmoth tagged 4 HRs for the Brewster Whitecaps in 2016.

On the heels of Warmoth’s selection at 22, Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall was scooped up by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 23rd overall pick of the draft. Kendall spent two summers on the Cape, playing for the Cotuit Kettleers.

The Chicago Cubs prior to 2017, had selected a Cape League alumnus in the 1st round in 2 of the past 3 MLB drafts and they continued that trend by selecting Brendon Little (State JC of Florida) with the 27th pick. Little completed 22 innings of baseball for the Bourne Braves this past summer.

Finally, in the compensatory round, former Falmouth Commodore and USF Bull Kevin Merrell went to the Oakland A’s at 33 and former Brewster Whitecap and Mississippi State Bulldog Brent Rooker went to the Minnesota Twins at 35.

The MLB draft rolls on Tuesday and Wednesday with plenty of Cape League alumni poised to make the jump to the pros.

The Cape League season begins on Wednesday night.

By MATT ST. JEAN, NewsCenter


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