N.E. draft review: Day 2

June, 9, 2010
Kevin Moran can count on one hand the number of major league baseball teams that didn’t reach out to him first-hand during this past year at Boston College.

So as fate would have it, two of those three teams were jostling the most for his services on the second day of the first-year player draft. Moran never got more than a text message or generic questionnaire from front-office folks from Washington and the Chicago White Sox. Yet there he sat in his Barnstable home as the seventh round got underway yesterday, monitoring the draft ticker on his laptop as he took a call from one White Sox scout who told him to get ready to be their selection.

The White Sox would pass him over that round, and the Nationals promptly dialed him up with the same instructions -- be ready -- only to pass him over at the top of the eighth.

“I was sitting there watching the little thing, there were so many things going on,” Moran laughed. “I was kind of a wreck just sitting there watching the computer.

“At one point I walked away from the computer, I was so fed up with the process.”

Next round, same call came from the White Sox, and this time they was meant it. In the ninth round, Moran could finally unwind and step away from the ticker for good, having been taken 278th overall.

And so goes the drama of draft day. The 6-foot-4 junior righty was one of a handful of New Englanders to get selected on the second day, one that was full of intrigue for the locals.

Moran, a reliever, impressed scouts during his sophomore year at The Heights and later that summer with the Hyannis Mets in the Cape Cod League. He skidded a little this season, with a 7.92 ERA to counter an 8-5 record in 27 appearances (all but three out of the bullpen).

Still, the raw appeal of a guy like Moran, with his 210-pound frame and fastball that has touched 96 miles per hour, was enough for most scouts to project him going off the draft board within the first 10 rounds.

High school highlights

Amherst Regional’s lights-out senior lefty Kevin Ziomek had to wait until the 13th round (391st overall) to see his name show up on the ticker, courtesy the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ziomek, who was projected to fall anywhere within the first 10 rounds, wasn’t surprised by the drop -- after all, he’s made his future plans known for a while.

“I kind of came out telling guys that I was pretty set on going to school,” said Ziomek, who signed a letter of intent to Vanderbilt during the early signing period last Novemeber. “I was going to see what happened in the draft, but school is my main priority. I’m just happy to be picked where I was.

“It’s kind of been a family decision. We talked about it a while ago. I hadn’t made a choice where I was definitely going to school or definitely signing, but school is important to my family, and that’s the first priority.”

But certainly the preseason All-American, who came into the spring ranked by Baseball America as the 20th-best high school prospect, didn’t hurt his cause. With a fastball that’s clocked in the low-90s, he’s dominated the Western Mass. scene the last two seasons, including a 7-1 record this year with 104 strikeouts through Monday night’s Division 1 Western quarterfinal win over Chicopee. He was also recently named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Massachusetts.

One round later, the Yankees selected Newton's Travis Dean. The right-hander transferred to Worcester Academy last fall from Newton South before returning to South midway through the academic year. Dean, a Kennesaw State commit, did not play high school baseball this year.

Fitch 2

Former Fitch (Conn.) High standout Jesse Hahn, a junior at Virginia Tech, was taken in the sixth round (191st overall) of the draft after his former teammate, Matt Harvey of UNC, was plucked by the New York Mets with the seventh overall pick on Monday.

While Harvey went several rounds ahead of Hahn in the draft, there is a prized piece of Connecticut baseball history to which Hahn lays claim that he does not let Harvey forget.
In his senior year at Fitch, Hahn registered a minuscule 0.17 ERA -- the best ever posted in the Nutmeg State.

“Oh, I let him know about that,” Hahn said.

Hahn shares a particularly strong connection with the Harvey clan because Matt’s father, Ed Harvey, was his baseball coach at Fitch.

“He was a great coach,” Hahn said of the senior Harvey. “He was very strict, which got us ready to compete at the college level, and he helped me out a lot pitching-wise.”

Hahn posted his strongest season with Virginia Tech in 2010. The 6-foot-5 right-hander went 5-4 in 13 starts with a 3.70 ERA.

Eagles fly off board

Pat Dean was the first of three BC juniors to get selected, taken with the 102nd pick (third round) by the Twins. The lefty posted a 5-2 record this season for the Eagles, with a 4.75 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 77 innings.

“Once my name got called, all kinds of emotions went through me,” Dean said. “I can’t even explain it.”

Stoneham’s Mickey Wiswall, a first-team All-ACC selection, was the next Eagle to go (seventh round, 222nd overall), followed by Moran.


" Orange, Conn.’s Max Russell was taken 144th overall (fourth round) by the Angels, out of Florida Southern College. In his career with the Mocs, the 6-foot-2 lefty went 24-4, with a 4.27 ERA and 244 strikeouts in 221.2 innings. He was also a two-time Division 2 honorable mention All-American. That paralleled a storied high school career at Amity High, in which Russell went 29-1 and won back-to-back Class LL state titles (2006-07).

" Marlborough, Mass., native Chris McKenzie, a sophomore right-hander at San Jacinto Junior College (Midland, Tex.), saw his name get called five picks before Ziomek. McKenzie, who starred at Marian High, went 7-1 in 13 starts this season with a 2.27 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 67.1 innings.

" Worcester’s Ryan O’Rourke was taken by the Twins 14 picks after Ziomek, on the heels of a record-setting career at Merrimack College. The 6-foot-3 lefty leaves North Andover as the school’s all-time leader in strikeouts (193 in three seasons).

Here’s a recap of Day 2 of the MLB first-year player draft with an eye on New England:

Player (School) Hometown Round Selection Team
Pat Dean (Boston College) Naugatuck, Conn. 3 102 Minnesota

Max Russell (Florida Southern) Orange, Conn. 4 144 L.A. Angels

Jesse Hahn (Virginia Tech) Groton, Conn. 6 191 Tampa Bay

Mickey Wiswall (Boston College) Stoneham, Mass. 7 222 Seattle

Kevin Moran (Boston College) Yarmouthport, Mass. 9 278 Chi. White Sox

Christopher McKenzie (San Jacinto J.C.) Marlborough, Mass. 13 386 Washington

Kevin Ziomek (Amherst Regional H.S.) Amherst, Mass. 13 391 Arizona

Pierre LePage (UConn) Wolcott, Conn. 13 400 Chicago Cubs

Ryan O’Rourke (Merrimack) Worcester, Mass. 13 405 Minnesota

Travis Dean (Newton South) Newton, Mass. 14 445 N.Y. Yankees

Mike Drowne (Sacred Heart Univ.) South Hadley, Mass. 28 861 L.A. Dodgers

Casey Harman (Clemson) South Burlington, Vt. 29 880 Chicago Cubs

Brendan C. Hall joined ESPNBoston.com as a high schools reporter/editor in May 2010, after four years covering high schools for The Boston Globe. The Westminster, Mass. native also served on the Globe's Bruins beat in 2009.

Scott Barboza

ESPN Staff Writer
Scott Barboza joined ESPNBoston.com as a high schools editor/reporter in May 2010. He spent the previous three seasons working in the New England Patriots media relations department after a stint at the Taunton Daily Gazette, where he covered everything from Little League baseball to the Boston Red Sox.



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