For the seniors on the UCF baseball roster, there's just one more step to take as a college athlete: waiting to hear if your name is called on draft day.
The 2015 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft is Monday through Wednesday, and UCF has several players who hope to hear their names called.
Of the 13 seniors and four juniors who are eligible for the draft, UCF does not have any highly touted draft hopefuls. But head coach Terry Rooney believes his team has several players who have a chance at being drafted in the mid to late rounds.
"I think we're going to have some guys on our team who are going to get an opportunity to sign a pro contract," Rooney said.
Scouts were in and out of Jay Bergman field all season watching UCF games, and some Knights took note.
"I wouldn't say we field calls necessarily, but we've got great relationships with all the scouts in professional baseball." Rooney said. "Throughout the course of the year, we have conversations and, whether it's about our players or commits or just baseball in general, they're certainly here."
It's not all on-field ability that scouts will talk to Rooney and his coaching staff about, though.
They often want to know about a player's character, making sure the prospect will not be a bad influence on players they will be teaming up with in the minor leagues.
"Guys want to know [if] they can make their own evaluations when they come in here, but they want to know a little bit more. Maybe, perhaps [scouts ask] what his work ethic is, what's his grade situation [is and] where is he at academically," Rooney said.
While every senior has an outside shot of playing professionally, Tommy Williams, James Vasquez, Dylan Moore and Zach Rodgers stand out among the crowd.
Williams, who was drafted in 2011 by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 20th round, has tools that certainly make him very appealing. Arm strength, speed and the ability to hit for power are all present in his game.
However, he strikes out far more than some professional skippers would like, and it's unclear if he'll be able to play the infield at the next level. Baseball America ranked him as the 20th best senior prospect in the country entering the draft.
After being UCF's most productive hitter a year ago, Vasquez had a down year this season. His batting average fell to .271 from last season's .340, on-base percentage went from .445 to .348 and he struck out 14 more times.
However, he'll likely find a home because he was ranked the 34th best senior draft prospect by Baseball America.
Moore is a player whose stock may have jumped the most on the Knights' roster. He improved his batting average, slugging percentage, runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, total bases and on-base percentage, but his fielding percentage dropped slightly after making the switch from second base to shortstop.
Baseball America has Moore ranked 27th among seniors.
The right-handed Rodgers was a junior college transfer who, due to his 5'9" stature, has seen himself overlooked for other players.
"It's not a surprise to me anymore, I'm kind of used to it," Rodgers said. "I've dealt with it my whole life, so it's not a big deal to me anymore. I just hope I get an opportunity."
In his two seasons at UCF, Rodgers put up numbers as good as anyone who's ever played for the program. The problem for Rodgers is that the areas he excels in — command, control and efficiency — are not the areas that get scouts excited.
However, his 17-2 record and 1.86 earned-run average certainly jump off the page.
"I'm definitely hoping for the opportunity, it's what's got me through college. A couple coaches have given me opportunities, and I'm just looking for one more," Rodgers said.
Seniors Erik Barber, Derrick Salberg and redshirt junior Mitchell Tripp may not be shocked to ink a professional contract in the near future as well.
Colin Bell is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Email him at email@example.com.