Bulls signee Nieto drafted in fifth round
The first four rounds of the MLB's annual draft came and went without a USF player or recruit selected, with the first and only hit Thursday coming much later than expected, as signee Adrian Nieto, a catcher from American Heritage High School, was drafted in the fifth round by the Washington Nationals.
Nieto had been projected as high as a second-round pick, but fell to the 151st pick. It's still likely the Bulls will lose Nieto to the pros, as the comparable pick in last year's draft earned a signing bonus of around $150,000.
The draft stopped Thursday night after six rounds, and with only Nieto taken, the Bulls took about as little damage as could be hoped for. Another signee, lefty Anthony Ferrara, had been projected as a sixth round pick, as had junior right-hander Daniel Thomas.
"We are very lucky right now that Nieto was the only player or recruit drafted in the first six rounds," coach Lelo Prado said in a release from USF.
Ferrara and Thomas could still be taken in the first few rounds Friday as the draft resumes, and it'd be hard for USF to compete with the allure of a pro contract if any player is drafted in the first 10 rounds or so. Beyond that, there's at least a chance a signee could actually make it to campus, as freshmen Stephen Hunt, Derrick Stultz and Juan Carlin did last year.
Check back for more baseball updates throughout the day Friday, and I'll have another post either tonight or Friday morning ...