Guillen among USF signees awaiting MLB draft
Baseball's annual draft begins tonight, and while it's unlikely the Bulls will hear the names of any current or future players called in tonight's opening round, Tuesday could be a pivotal day for USF baseball.
The first names with USF ties likely to be called are a trio of signees who could go in the first 10 rounds -- outfielders Kyle Waldrop and Ozney Guillen and left-handed pitcher Kyle Ryan.
"You never know with the draft. I'm putting it in God's hands," said Guillen, the son of former major-leaguer and current White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "As of right now, I'm going to USF, and if I get drafted, it's great to have two good options to choose from."
Guillen said he has been told he should be taken between the fifth and 10th round. Outfield could wind up being a position of need for the Bulls, who could lose three underclassmen who started this year -- Stephen Hunt, Ryan Lockwood and Junior Carlin -- to the draft.
Another crucial area is starting pitching, with juniors Randy Fontanez and Andrew Barbosa both potential draft losses, and one incoming recruit who could help is Ryan, a 6-foot-4 lefty from Auburndale who has worked out recently for the Cardinals and Rays.
"Right now, Kyle has all intentions of attending USF," said Tom Taylor, his coach at Auburndale. "We'll let the draft play itself out -- the scouts have been pretty tight-lipped about where he'll go. (About pitching as a freshman at USF) Kyle is definitely a competitor and he accepts challenges. That's a challenge he's willing to take on."
Waldrop, from Riverdale High in Fort Myers, might be the first USF player taken, projected between the third and sixth rounds. His senior year numbers are impressive -- a .506 average, eight home runs, 34 runs batted in, 46 runs scored and 21 stolen bases, according to the News-Press.
Guillen, who could be picked by his father's White Sox, doesn't expect to hear his name called tonight, but he'll be eagerly listening for his best friend, shortstop Manny Machado, to be selected high in the first round, potentially No. 3 to Baltimore. The two friends, teammates for much of the past nine years, have gone through the draft process together in recent weeks, with Machado staying at the Guillens' Miami home between workouts with MLB teams.
(UPDATE: No players with ties to USF were selected in the first 50 picks of the draft Monday night.)