Draft recap: Junior SS Mende last of six Bulls picked
Took a quick two days of vacation, so I'm playing catch-up on a busy week for USF baseball in the MLB draft -- six players picked, matching the most ever for the Bulls, with two underclassmen and another two signees now facing decisions about their futures.
As expected, closer Kevin Quackenbush went first, going in the eighth round to the Padres. Baseball America had high praise for him, writing that "among college closers, (he) improved his lot the most." Here's what the Times' Ed Encina wrote about Quackenbush on Tuesday. Hard to slot what a college senior might land as an eight-round signing bonus, but according to BA, the norm last year was around $50,000.
The next USF-related pick was incoming freshman third baseman Joey Krehbiel from Seminole, going in the 12th round to the Angels, and he told the Times' Bob Putnam that he's "definitely" signing a contract and not coming to USF.
Five current Bulls went in the middle rounds -- junior right-hander Jimmy Moran went to the Reds (more on that in a sec) in the 18th, senior Junior Carlin went in the 20th to the Angels as a left-handed pitcher, senior righty Randy Fontanez went to the Mets in the 27th (he went in the 23rd last year), senior third baseman Jonathan Koscso to the Rays in the 29th and junior shortstop Sam Mende in the 31st to the Rockies.
-- High on the will-he-won't-he watch list is junior college slugger Roderick "Rock" Shoulders, a USF signee who went in the 25th round to the Cubs. Shoulders opted for junior college last year after going in the 20th round to the Red Sox, and Baseball America had said his power -- 14 home runs this season -- "should get him picked 10 rounds sooner this year." That didn't happen -- if the Cubs are only offering him 25th-round money, that bodes well for USF's chances to get him into the heart of their batting order for 2012. We'll check in on him later.
-- Yes, USF's six draft picks is a high amount for a team that finished ninth in the Big East and missed the conference tournament. Reguar-season champ Connecticut (with 10 draft picks) was the only Big East team with more picks -- Louisville and Pittsburgh matched the Bulls' six picks. But Seton Hall, which won the Big East tournament as a fifth seed, had just one draft pick (tournament MVP Joe DiRocco), and St. John's, which made the NCAA field and finished second in the regular season, had just three draft picks, including first-rounder Joe Panik. The other three Big East teams that missed the tournament cut (Rutgers, Villanova, Georgetown) combined for four draft picks.
-- Former USF player Sean Buckley went higher than anyone on the current team -- in the sixth round to the Reds, after he hit .362 for St. Pete College with team highs of 10 home runs and 52 RBIs. Buckley hit just .250 in 2010 with the Bulls, so this was a breakout year for him. It's worth noting that his father, Chris, is the Reds' scouting director -- the Reds have been active in drafting Bulls in the last two years (Stephen Hunt is crushing the ball in his second pro season) and took another USF underclassman in Moran this week. Buckley is listed as being committed to transfer to Florida International on SPC's site, but hard to imagine him not signing with the Reds.
-- Remember Ozney Guillen? Ozzie's son committed to play at USF, then felt snubbed when his father's White Sox didn't take him until the 22nd round, so he opted for junior college, which allowed him to be eligible for this year's draft. Guillen didn't hit .347 at Miami Dade College but didn't hit any home runs in 144 at-bats and wasn't drafted at all.