A whirlwind year for University of Tampa star third baseman Jake Schrader continued last week, as the former Pasco High baseball player was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 27th round. He will report to the Braves' rookie-league team in Danville, Va.
Schrader was one of five Tampa players taken in last week's first-year player draft. Schrader, who was named Division II World Series MVP in helping lead the Spartans to the Division II national championship, had 10 homers and batted .300 with 51 RBIs in 52 games.
Schrader had a long road after coming out of Pasco in 2009 when he batted .554 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs. Schrader played two years at St. Johns River Community College in Palatka, belting 31 homers and driving in 100 RBIs.
His former Pirates coach, Ricky Giles, who is now the coach at Zephyrhills, said he is not surprised by Schrader's success.
“The work ethic, the amount of work Jake always put in was what unique about him,” Giles said. “To see guys like him and (Philadelphia Phillies outfielder) Domonic (Brown) representing Pasco County like that is really great.”
Saint Leo pair drafted Catcher Daniel Torres and left-handed pitcher Rick Teasley became the first Saint Leo baseball players drafted since 2008 when they were taken June 8.
Torres, who just completed his junior season, was picked by the Seattle Mariners in the 20th round. He was also drafted after graduating from Countryside High when he was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the 46th round, but opted to attend Saint Leo on a baseball scholarship.
“It’s one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me in my baseball career,” said Torres, who hit .280 with 35 RBIs and seven doubles this season. “It’s my dream to play in the Major Leagues some day, and this is a big step toward making that happen.”
Teasley was drafted three rounds later by the Tampa Bay Rays after working a team-high 86.2 innings with a 5-4 record, a 3.63 ERA and 73 strikeouts as a senior.
Teasley, who transferred to Saint Leo as a sophomore from Northwood University, said the Rays showed the most interest in drafting him.
“I talked to a couple other teams, but the Rays were always calling,” Teasley said. “The morning of the draft they texted me to wish me luck and hoping that they’d get to call my name. Thankfully they did, and I’m going to do my best to make the most of this opportunity.”