By Jeff Odom
The Seattle Mariners selected Saint Leo University catcher Daniel Torres with the 597th pick in the 20th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 8.
Torres, a junior, appeared in 49 games with the Lions this season and batted .280 with 35 RBIs to help lead Saint Leo to a 35-14-1 overall record, including a 14-9-1 record in the Sunshine State Conference. The Lions, however, did not earn a postseason spot in the Division II College World Series, which was won by conference rival Tampa.
“This is one of the most special days I have had during my baseball career, completing one of my many goals that I have as a baseball player,” Torres said in a release by the university. “To be drafted by a Major League team is awesome, and it gave me goose bumps to know my dream is coming true, and that I am even closer to reaching my goal of being in the big leagues. I’m so excited to get my opportunity and start playing.”
He was previously drafted in the 46th round by the Baltimore Orioles after the end of his senior year at Countryside High in Clearwater before enrolling at Saint Leo his freshman year.
The Tampa Bay Rays, with the 698th pick, also selected Torres’ teammate and left-handed pitcher, Rick Teasley, in the 23rd round on Day 3 of the MLB Draft.
The senior appeared in 14 games with the Lions and was 5-4 with a 3.63 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 86.2 innings pitched this season, more than any other player on Saint Leo’s pitching staff.
“Proud to be a Tampa Bay Ray,” Teasley told The Laker/Lutz News. “Close to home and a great organization, especially for young pitchers. Still hasn’t sunk in that my dream has come true, and I can’t wait to get on that plane and go pitch.”
In addition to being the workhorse in the Lions’ rotation, Teasley, a Port St. Lucie native, was an All-SSC Honorable Mention and was named conference player of the week on April 15.
//Diamondbacks select Gibson
University of Florida junior left-handed pitcher and Lutz resident Daniel Gibson was drafted 210th overall on Day 2 by the Arizona Diamondbacks June 7.
The former Jesuit High ace was 2-1 with a 4.42 ERA. He also totaled 31 strikeouts, gave up 20 walks in 38.2 innings, while limiting opponents to just a .254 batting average.
This is not the first time the Gators reliever has been drafted. The Milwaukee Brewers also took him as high school senior with the 789th pick in the 26th round of the 2010 draft, but he opted to go to Florida instead.
–Follow Jeff Odom on Twitter @JOdomLaker
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