June 8, 2011 Contact: Scott Jamison 352.395.5616 firstname.lastname@example.org
LEE, O’SHEA PICKED IN MLB DRAFT; THREE SIGNEES ALSO SELECTED
Gainesville, FL – As a senior at Robinson High School in Tampa, left handed pitched Chris Lee (pictured top) was selected in the 37th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He made the decision then to forgo professional baseball for at least a year and signed a scholarship with Santa Fe.
The move paid off for Lee in a big way on Tuesday as he was selected in the fourth round by the Houston Astros, an improvement of 33 rounds in just one season under the tutelage of head coach and pitching coach Johnny Wiggs. Lee is the second highest player ever drafted from Santa Fe. Keon Broxton was selected in the third round of the 2009 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In his freshman season at Santa Fe, Lee was 3-3 with a 2.85 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched. He started six games and pitched six games in relief.
“We are all really excited for Chris and the opportunity he has,” said SF Coach Johnny Wiggs. “Chris has so much ability and continued to improve throughout the year. He has a chance to be a great one for the Houston Astros if he continues to work hard and we wish him all the best as he enters his professional career.”
Fellow pitcher and sophomore Ben O’Shea, undrafted out of high school in 2009, was drafted in the tenth round by the Chicago White Sox, leaving him with a big decision to make over the next couple months. O’Shea recently signed a scholarship with the University of Maryland and will have until August 15 (the cutoff date for MLB teams to sign draftees) to either sign a contract with the White Sox, or attend Maryland.
As a sophomore at SF, O’Shea went 9-2 with a 3.03 ERA and had 98 strikeouts in 65.1 innings pitched with just 15 walks.
“Ben has some great options – sign with the Chicago White Sox or go play in the ACC at the University of Maryland,” said Wiggs. “He had a great year where he continued to gain velocity and really pounded the strike zone. To go from an undrafted kid out of the northeast to a 10th rounder is a great accomplishment for him. We all look forward to following Ben at Maryland or with the White Sox organization.”
Three 2011-12 signees were also selected during the second day of the draft on Tuesday.
Dereck Rodriguez, son of current Major Leaguer and 14 time All-Star Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was selected in the sixth round by the Minnesota Twins. Rodriguez played his high school ball at Monsignor Pace and hit .393 his senior season with two HR. As a pitcher, he throws in the low to mid 90’s and was 1-1 with seven saves.
Following his senior season at Pace, he was named a 2011 Rawlings 2nd Team High School All-American, 2011 Rawlings 1st Team All-Region and was rated as the 25th best prospect in the State of Florida and #170 in the country by Perfect Game USA.
Mallex Smith, one of the fastest players in the state of Florida, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 13th round. Following a stellar senior season at Tallahassee Rickards High School, Smith was named the district Player of the Year after he hit .541 with four HR, 11 triples, five doubles and 32 stolen bases.
He was named 2011 Rawlings 1st Team All-Region and was rated as the the 39th best prospect in the State of Florida and #277 in the country by Perfect Game USA.
Georgia prep star Deion Williams was the third SF signee drafted, going to the Washington Nationals in the 16th round. Williams played shortstop at Redan High School in Atlanta, GA and was rated as the #5 overall prospect in the state of Georgia and #106 in the country by Perfect Game USA.
“When your incoming guys get drafted it just tells says you are getting the right guys,” said Wiggs. “Bruce Larkins, our recruiting coordinator, has done a great job overseeing our recruiting and helping us obtain the best talent around. It shows with a 6th, 13th, and 16th round draft pick signing with us. We are happy for Dereck, Mallex, and Deion, and we will be excited to have them here at Santa Fe if they decide to not sign professionally.”
The MLB Draft concludess on Wednesday with rounds 31-50. Fans can follow along live at www.mlb.com.
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