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MLB first-year player draft: Locals go on Day 3

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Sat. June 7, 2014 | Times Staff

MLB first-year player draft: Locals go on Day 3

Two local players were taken on Day 2 of the 2014 MLB first-year player draft — Peter Miller (Cambridge Christian/Florida State) and Thomas Dorminy (Alonso/Faulkner University). Current/former local high school and area small-college players joining them on Day 3 were: 

2B Mike Abreu, HIllsborough Community College (17th, 510, Diamondbacks): The 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore from Key West hit .259 with 17 RBIs and 11 stolen bases this season for the Hawks.

1B Corey Baptist, St. Petersburg College (17th, 520, Tigers): Baptist opted not to go to Mississippi and instead had a huge year for the Titans. He hit .397 with nine home runs and 41 RBIs, all team highs. As a senior at Seminole, Baptist hit .455 with 28 RBIs, five doubles, six home runs and 19 stolen bases. He was the Tampa Bay Times’ Pinellas County Player of the Year in 2013 and was also a member of the Times’ all-Suncoast team. Baptist was undrafted last year. He has the distinction of being the highest Pinellas player taken in this year’s draft. Baptist said he will sign with the Tigers and report to rookie camp within the next few days. “At least it’s not too far from home,’’ Baptist said. “I’m excited to get started.’’

RHP Preston Packrall, University of Tampa (24th, 712, Phillies): The Clearwater Central Catholic alum recently completed his senior season with the Spartans. He was 11-0, pitched 80.2 innings, had a 2.12 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Packrall transferred to Tampa from High Point (N.C.) University. He was a Times’ all-county honorable mention in 2010. 

2B Casey Turgeon, University of Florida (24th, 735, Cardinals): This is Turgeon’s second time through the draft. He was taken  in the 22nd round by the Mets in 2011 after a stellar career at Dunedin. He is the Falcons’ leader in runs (157), walks (133), hits (132), times on base (293) and innings played (745). At Florida this season, he played in 62 games, hit .255 with 32 RBIs and 11 doubles. In his Florida career, he has started 185 games at second base.

RHP Dylan Barrow, University of Tampa (25th, 752, Yankees): The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Durant High alum went 4-2 with a 3.78 ERA last season as a sophomore at Santa Fe College, notching 42 strikeouts in 50 innings. 

SS Josciel Veras, Cumberland University (30th, 905, Reds): The 5-foot-8, 166-pound King alum just finished his senior season in Tennessee. He started 57 of 58 games for the Bulldogs, hitting .299 with 39 RBIs and four home runs. The Times’ all-Hillsborough County first-teamer in 2010 hit .372 his senior year at King, with five doubles, two homers, 14 RBIs and 19 steals.  

1B Dexture McCall, Hillsborough CC (31st, 916, Astros): McCall, a Middleton graduate, played in 47 games this season as a sophomore.  He made the most of his plate appearances, hitting .360 with 34 RBIs and five home runs. 

RHP Brad Deppermann, East Lake High (31st, 919, Cubs): The University of North Florida commit had a big season for the Eagles. On the mound he was 6-2 with two saves. He had 100 strikeouts in 75 innings and a 0.93 ERA. He also hit .327 with a home run and six doubles. When he wasn’t pitching, Deppermann played both third base and first base. 

C Sal Giardina Jr., Lynn University (31st, 943, Braves): The Bloomingdale grad just finished his senior season for the Fighting Knights, where he led the team in batting average (.359), RBIs (40) and home runs (five). He was a four-year varsity player while at Bloomingdale. 

C Jose Lopez, King High (33rd, 995, Reds): In this final high school season, Lopez hit .261 with 13 RBIs for an underclassmen-heavy Lions squad that reached the Class 6A region finals. He also was selected to play in the Hillsborough-Pinellas senior all-star game.

LF Michael Danner, University of Tampa (34th, 1008, White Sox): The Gaither alum just finished his senior season with the Spartans. He was third on the team in hitting with a .326 average and second in RBIs (46) and home runs (eight). As a senior at Gaither in 2010, the Times’ first-teamer led Hillsborough County with 40 RBIs and hit .427.

RHP Cobi Johnson, Mitchell High (35th, 1047, Padres): The 6-foot-4 Florida State signee was regarded as one of the draft’s top 100 prospects. Elbow inflammation sidelined him for part of his senior season, but  he still struck out 51 batters this spring and pitched the Mustangs to the playoffs. A low-90s fastball that touches 94 mph helped him strike out 103 batters with a 1.68 ERA as a junior. His father, Dane, pitched in the majors and serves as the Blue Jays’ minor-league pitching coordinator. 

1B Fran Whitten, Saint Leo University (37th, 1109, Angels): As a senior, the University of Maine transfer was a first-team all-Sunshine State Conference selection. He had a conference-high 11 home runs and hit .368 with 41 RBIs. 

RHP Keith Weisenberg, Osceola High (38th, 1131, Blue Jays): The 6-foot-5, 195-pounder has committed to Stanford. He was 9-2 this season for the Warriors and used his 92-94 mph fastball to strike out 88 in 64 innings. Weisenberg had a 1.09 ERA and threw four complete games. He also hit .329 with two home runs, but his future is as a pitcher. With the late pick, expect Weisenberg to go to Stanford and try the draft again in three years. 

CF Diamond Johnson, Hillsborough High (40th, 1189, Cubs): The St. Pete College commit was a four-year starter for the Terriers. He’s hit around .320 the past two seasons, and had team highs as a junior in runs scored (25), hits (22) and extra-base hits (eight). 

RHP Alex Faedo, Alonso High (40th, 1210, Tigers): The University of Florida commit was taken in the final round of the draft. He was 6-2 for the Ravens with a 0.58 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched. The son of Alonso coach Landy Faedo, Alex was just about as good as a junior, when he had a 1.14 ERA and once struck out 17 batters in one game.

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