Prado: USF's draft great, but not so great
When the major-league baseball draft stopped after 30 rounds Tuesday, USF coach Lelo Prado saw seven players from his 2011 roster selected, leaving seven decisions that could shape the expectations of next year's Bulls team.
"Bad day for me, great day for them," said Prado, who had three key juniors and four recruits drafted. "I'm happy for every one of them. It's a great day for all of them, though we'd love to see them all come back and get their degree."
Not all the draft picks are necessarily lost -- outfielder Ozney Guillen, the son of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, was expecting to go much earlier than the 22nd round, when his father's team picked him.
"It really caught me off-guard. I think I'm better than that," said Guillen, who played at Miami's Monsignor Pace High. "I know the player I am, and I know what I can bring to the table. I haven't made my final decision, but I'm leaning toward USF. I'll probably decide in the next day or two."
There were surprises in the picks -- the first current Bulls player selected was outfielder Stephen Hunt, who was drafted in the 15th round as a left-handed pitcher by the Cincinnati Reds, though he pitched only one inning this season. The Reds' senior director of amateur scouting, Chris Buckley, is the father of USF redshirt freshman Sean Buckley (who actually won't be back with the Bulls next year), and it was clear he saw the Bulls a lot, as he drafted Hunt and right-hander Randy Fontanez (23rd round), as well as signee Kyle Waldrop, an outfielder from Fort Myers who went in the 12th.
Waldrop, too, could wind up a Bull, as he was projected between the third and sixth round, so if the Reds' offer matches his draft position, he could wind up at USF. Another signee, left-hander Kyle Ryan of Auburndale, went to Detroit in the 12th, and left-hander Nick Gonzalez of Leto went to the Phillies in the 30th round. Junior left-hander Andrew Barbosa was drafted by the Giants -- who took him in 2006 and 2007 but couldn't sign him -- in the 15th round, shortly after Hunt was picked.
Prado confirmed another loss from this season's team -- outfielder Ryan Lockwood, who had a 30-game hit streak as a freshman but hadn't found the same hitting stroke in the last two seasons, won't be back for his senior year. Prado said Lockwood had told him at midseason he wouldn't be back, saying that if he wasn't drafted, he wanted to train to become a Navy SEAL.
With seven key contributors now in limbo over the next two months before their signing deadline, Prado said he hoped the promise of a new baseball stadium and the potential for a better record in 2011 might sway some of the Bulls away from a pro contract.
"If signing is the right thing for them, I'm all for it," he said.