Chris Burke was a high school baseball star at Islip and the MAAC player of the year at Iona. That gave the hard-hitting third baseman the perfect resume for what would come next and Wednesday was the day: Burke's longtime dream of being drafted came true as the San Diego Padres selected him in the 18th round of Major League Baseball's first-year player draft.
"The whole week or two leading up until this, it doesn't feel real that it's actually here,'' Burke said. "It's been like my whole life waiting then finally it's here. It really hasn't hit me yet that it's happened."
At Iona, the 6-1 Burke had a career average of .328 with 31 home runs and 138 RBIs. The speedy Burke also stole 45 bases over the last two seasons.
Burke was not at all surprised that the Padres selected him. "I thought it was going to be the Padres all along," he said. "They invited me to a pre-draft workout and I did really well. Since then, they kind of followed up on me, so I thought it was going to be them the whole time -- and it was."
Burke has been told he will likely head to Arizona for a minor-league assignment, where he will begin working on his next dream: making the big leagues. Is there any doubt? "Not right now," he said.
As the draft concluded its third and final day, Stony Brook increased its total to seven drafted players with the selection of pitchers Jasvir Rakkar (Cubs, 26th round) and Tyler Johnson (A's, 33rd). Other locals selected included St. John's pitcher Sean Hagan (Twins, 30th), Manhattan College outfielder Anthony Vega of Patchogue (Orioles, 30th), Plainedge High School pitcher Tyler Manez (Astros, 32nd) and Commack catcher Charles Galiano (Phillies, 33rd). Vanderbilt outfielder Michael Yastrzemski, grandson of Hall of Famer and former Long Islander Carl Yastrzemski, was picked by Seattle in the 30th round.