Several Knights selected on Day Two and Day Three of this year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 16:06
The saying “when one door closes, another one opens” rang especially true for a trio of Knights Tuesday.
Just one day after the baseball team made its exit from the NCAA Tournament at the Coral Gables Regional with a 10-6 loss to Stony Brook, pitchers Joe Rogers and Roman Madrid and shortstop Darnell Sweeney were selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The Detroit Tigers selected Rogers in the fifth round, making him the second Knight in as many years to be selected in the fifth round — former Knight Beau Taylor was selected by the Oakland Athletics last year.
Madrid and Sweeney may both end up in California, as they were selected by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round, respectively.
“It was bittersweet,” Rogers said in a release. “To be selected by the Tigers in the fifth round is awesome, but I know my teammates and myself are a little bit disappointed by the way the last regional went.”
Over the weekend the Knights had jumped out to a 2-0 start at the Coral Gables Regional, needing only one more win to advance to the program’s first ever Super Regional. UCF faltered, though, dropping consecutive games and allowing Stony Brook to advance on to take on LSU in Baton Rouge in the Super Regional this weekend.
Regardless of last weekend’s events, Rogers was able to share the excitement of being drafted with his teammate Madrid.
“I was sitting on the computer with Roman Madrid, who just got drafted too, and we were just hanging out and watching the tracker,” Rogers said. “I saw my name get called and it was just a very humbling experience.”
Madrid, who was selected in the 44th round out of high school, greatly improved his draft stock in college. Although it was his second time being drafted, the righty still felt honored.
“Getting drafted there is a big dream, and just to be a part of it makes me feel very blessed,” Madrid said in a release.
Rogers and Madrid anchored the back end of the bullpen for Rooney this year.
Rogers recorded 13 saves in 2012 and struck out 47 batters in 43 innings. Madrid boasted a 1.00 ERA over 45 innings of work.
As rising seniors, Rogers, Madrid and Sweeney all have the opportunity to stay in school and complete their final year of eligibility as Knights.
Whether or not they do so, is a different story.
“I need to talk to my family a little bit and see what they have to say. … I have to base my decision on them,” Rogers said. “… I know that whatever decision I make, [coach Rooney is going to back me up], my team will back me up.”
More Knights drafted on Day Three
The draft picks kept rolling for UCF on the third day of the MLB Draft.
Ronnie Richardson was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 16th round, and D.J. Hicks was taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round.
Meanwhile, the Draft may also be affecting UCF with players that haven’t yet put on a Knights uniform. UCF commitments Zach Eflin and Maxwell Moroff, two local high school standouts, were also drafted. Eflin, who goes to nearby Hagerty High School, was taken with the 33rd overall pick by the Padres while Moroff was drafted in the 16th round.
Skoglund receives recognition
Eric Skoglund was recognized for his impressive freshman campaign on Wednesday when he was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.
The southpaw finished 2012 with a 5-3 record and a 3.21 ERA.