Maruszak on draft: 'I feel I'm ready'
USF baseball coach Lelo Prado said two weeks ago that he expected juniors Daniel Thomas and Addison Maruszak to be selected in the upcoming baseball draft, and Maruszak said Friday that he has told USF coaches he intends to sign a pro contract and not return for his senior year.
"I feel I'm ready to go. It's the next level, and I'm looking forward to it," said Maruszak, a second-team All-Big East selection after posting a .364 batting average and scoring a team-high 55 runs. "I'd love to stay, and I love USF, but I really do want to go."
The St. Pete Catholic graduate said Prado and his staff have been "very supportive" of his decision, letting him know he'd be welcomed back for his senior year if he's unhappy with his draft position. Maruszak has former major-leaguer and USF hitting coach Reggie Jefferson as an advisor and said he does not have expectations for when he'll be drafted. Maruszak's 26 errors this season were nearly twice as much as any USF teammate, and he could be drafted as a catcher because of his superior arm strength.
Maruszak was not included among Baseball America's top 115 draft prospects for the state of Florida, which could point to him being drafted in the later rounds. Fellow junior Daniel Thomas is rated as the state's No. 18 prospect according to BA, which has him among the top 200 prospects nationally.
One more draft update: We've told you that signees Adrien Nieto and Anthony Ferrara are likely to be drafted in the second and sixth rounds, according to BA, which would make it highly unlikely they'd make it to USF. Another signee who could be lost to the draft is Middleton's Corey Thomas, who could pitch or play infield for the Bulls.
Middleton coach Vernon Slater said Friday he had been told Thomas could be drafted in the first 10 rounds, and BA's draft preview tabs him as the state's No. 40 prospect. Thomas, a right-handed pitcher who played shortstop at Middleton, is listed as a third baseman by BA. He has the right outlook entering the draft, happy with the prospect of playing at USF but still excited about his draft potential.
"Either way, it's a good thing," Thomas said. "I really don't have any idea about the draft. If they're high on me, that will show up in the draft. I'm excited to be playing at South Florida, too."
Two more USF signees show up on BA's state draft preview, with Orlando Bishop Moore outfielder Alex Mendez rated as the state's No. 51 prospect and Clearwater Central Catholic shortstop Sam Mende listed at No. 54. That's not to say they couldn't be at USF this fall -- pitcher Derrick Stultz was rated No. 52 in the state by BA last season and opted to stick with the Bulls after being drafted, as did fellow freshmen Stephen Hunt and Junior Carlin.