Three more Marist College baseball players drafted
June 9, 2011 Leave a comment
Seniors Ricky Pacione and Eric Alessio and junior Jon Schwind in the 41st round or later on Wednesday. Schwind was the highest drafted player of the three, receiving the Pittsburgh Pirates 41st-round selection. Since he is only a junior, Schwind could choose to either sign a professional contract with the Pirates or return to Marist for one more season and re-enter the draft next summer.
Alessio, who worked mainly out of the Marist bullpen last year, posted an ERA of 2.27 which resulted in him being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 49th round.
Of the three, however, the most interesting selection was of Pacione, who was Marist’s leading hitter at .367 for the season. Pacione was the hardest out I ever saw watching Marist baseball games over my final two years at school. In one doubleheader, Pacione recorded a combined 5-5 with a couple doubles and two walks. He has a beautiful understanding of the strike zone and patience that will most certainly translate against harder competition.
It wasn’t Pacione being drafted that is interesting as far as the news goes (I had Pacione and Gallagher as the two likeliest Foxes to get drafted after Gallic, Gallagher went undrafted). Instead, it was the position the Los Angeles Angels listed Pacione as for the 48th-round selection. In my previous post, I stated that Pacione simply doesn’t have the gap-to-gap power to play an offensive premium position like the corner outfield slots. I saw Pacione, who has experience playing all over the field for the Red Foxes, as a potential option for a team at second base, a position that usually is defensive first and offensive second. But, the Angels saw differently. They saw Pacione as something I have never seen him as:
The last two years, the two-spot on the Marist defense was manned by team leader Bryce Nugent. But, I’m sure the Angels scouts have either seen Pacione catch before or worked him out at catcher at some point in the scouting process to deem him capable of the position in a minor league setting. Either way, his development will be interesting to follow over the next couple of seasons.
Marist College has never produced a Major League Baseball player in the program’s history. But, with four new Foxes roaming in the minor leagues, the odds of Marist producing a pro becomes all the greater.
Good luck to all five Marist College draftees.
Greg Kaplan is a writer and co-founder of Home Field Advantage