Smith headed for Princeton Rays
Garret Smith was ready to turn off the television and skip the rest of the broadcast of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft a few weeks ago.
“It was already the 20th round and I said to my dad, I’ll just wait for the phone call,’’ said the former St. John’s High standout who recently wrapped up a four-year playing career at Boston College.
“And just about at that moment, Tampa Bay took me as the next-to-last pick in that round,’’ 630th pick overall in the draft. “It was a dream come true and a relief, but it’s only a first step,’’ he said.
This spring, Smith started in 47 games for the Eagles, with 25 games at first base, 16 at catcher, five at third base, and one at designated hitter, while hitting .267 with a team-high 17 doubles. But the versatile 6-foot-1, 206-pound Sterling resident also won the closer’s role under first-year coach Mike Gambino.
He responded with a 2.87 earned-run average and 14 strikeouts in 15 innings while holding opponents to a .217 batting average.
“I was drafted as a pitcher, but I played shortstop in high school and my first two years of college, and when my name was announced on TV, they listed me at shortstop,’’ said Smith. “Coach Gambino liked my arm strength and competitive nature, and felt my slider was closer-worthy.’’
Smith trained at Tampa Bay’s complex in Port Charlotte, Fla., last week, and was assigned to the Princeton Rays, a rookie team in West Virginia that plays in the Appalachian League.
He was not alone: Ten other players with local ties were selected in the draft.
Groton’s Lawrence Academy righthander Tyler Beede was the headliner, going to the Toronto Blue Jays with the 21st overall pick, while Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School southpaw hurler Andrew Chin of Newton was the same team’s fifth-round selection.
The other local picks:
■ Shrewsbury’s John Andreoli (Chicago Cubs, 17th round), a junior outfielder at the University of Connecticut.
■ Matt Duffy (Houston Astros, 20th), a senior third baseman at the University of Tennessee who starred at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham.
■ John Magliozzi, (Rays, 35th), a senior pitcher at the Dexter School in Brookline.
■ Franklin’s Andrew Leenhouts (Florida Marlins, 43d), a junior lefthander at Northeastern University.
■ Sudbury’s Adam Ravenelle (New York Yankees, 44th), a senior pitcher at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High.
■ Framingham’s Matt Gedman (Boston Red Sox, 45th), a senior infielder at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
■ Boxborough’s Scott Weismann (46th, Cubs), a junior pitcher at Clemson University previously picked by Detroit in 2008 (18th round) as an Acton-Boxborough Regional High senior.
Gedman reported to Boston’s minor league complex in Fort Myers, Fla., on Tuesday, and was expecting to sign a contract after taking his physical. A starting third baseman in the recent New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association’s all-star game, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound left-handed hitter led the Atlantic-10 Conference with a .402 average. He is lined up to play for Boston’s Gulf Coast League rookie team.
“It’s definitely exciting, and now it’s time to hopefully take advantage of my opportunity,’’ said Gedman, whose father, former Red Sox catcher Rich, has returned to the organization as hitting coach of the Class A Lowell Spinners.
Duffy, who hit .312 for the Vols, will play for the Tri-City ValleyCats in the New York-Penn League.
After helping propel UConn to its first Big East regular season title and an NCAA Division 1 Super Regional final, Andreoli (one of Smith’s teammates at St. John’s) is waiting for a counteroffer from the Cubs while still planning to play for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League.
“It could go either way. I have two very good options and I expect to be hearing soon from the Cubs,’’ said Andreoli, who hit .317 while starting all 66 games for the Huskies (45-20-1).
Beede, 14-1 with 189 strikeouts in 96.1 innings in two seasons at Lawrence Academy, was unsigned as of last week, along with Chin, Magliozzi, and Weisman.
Ravenelle, who shut out Acton-Boxborough Regional in the Division 1 North title game on Monday, said he will most likely honor his commitment to attend Vanderbilt University — where Beede will also pitch if the Jays can’t come to an agreement with him.
Ravenelle was 8-0 with a 1.47 ERA and was batting .479 with 7 homers and 41 RBIs after Monday’s game.
Magliozzi, who has not completely ruled out an offer from Tampa Bay, hit .629 this season and was 7-0 with an 0.95 earned run average with 73 strikeouts in 42 innings. He will probably play for an AAU team in Georgia this summer before heading to the University of Florida.
A Clemson spokesman said Weismann is expected to return for his senior season.
Here and there Trinity College freshman Abigail Ostrom of Carlisle (Loomis Chaffee School) was named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference second team after leading the Bantam women’s softball team in eight offensive categories. Behind her production, Trinity finished 22-14 overall and tied Bowdoin for second place in the NESCAC. She also plays for the women’s ice hockey team. . . The Wellesley College crew team, which finished a program-best third at this year’s NCAA rowing championships, was rewarded for its success with the naming of head coach Tessa Spillane as the Division 3 National Coach of the Year. Six of Spillane’s rowers were honored as National Scholar-Athletes, including team captain Shernaz Dossabhoy of Belmont (Phillips Exeter Academy), Jennnifer Lamy of Chester, N.H. (Concord Academy), and Tess Ruderman (Brookline High). Dossabhoy was also named to the NEWMAC All-Conference team, while Lamy was a first-team All-America selection, and an All-ECAC and All-Seven Sisters pick.
Marvin Pave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.