One fall day during his sophomore year at Ward Melville, Ben Brown threw a bullpen session in front of coach Lou Petrucci and Steven Matz. Brown was just about 6-feet tall back then and did not throw nearly as hard as he does now, but Petrucci and Matz saw potential in his right arm.
“We told Ben, you keep working at it, you’re going to get drafted out of here,” Petrucci said of the conversation he and Matz had with Brown afterward.
Those words were prophetic.
Brown was one of seven players with Long Island ties drafted on the third and final day of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft. The Phillies selected the 6-6 righthander in the 33rd round and two rounds later drafted Shoreham-Wading River’s Brian Morrell, who became the second player to win back-to-back Yastrzemski Awards on Tuesday.
“They never gave me a round estimation so when I got past the 25th round I started sweating a lot,” said Brown, who sat at 88-to-90 mph this year, according to Petrucci. “I was starting to think about other things than playing professional baseball and how am I going to move on from this. When it popped up on Twitter I was playing my friend Jake on PS4. I threw my controller on the ground and ran to give my mom a hug.”
Westbury’s Matt Seelinger became the first player drafted out of Farmingdale State. The Pirates selected him in the 28th round after he went 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA and had 69 strikeouts over 51 2⁄3 innings.
Mount Sinai’s Michael Donadio went to the Marlins in the 30th round. The senior outfielder started all 55 games for a St. John’s team that appeared in a NCAA regional, posting a .374/.473/.547 slash line with 24 extra-base hits, including four homers, and 38 RBIs.
“I was expecting to get drafted last year and I was bummed [when he didn’t],” Donadio said, “but I tried to come back for a good senior year and got lucky this year and had a great year and got drafted.”
West Islip’s Dan Jagiello (LIU Post) went to the Dodgers in the 34th round after posting a 1.93 ERA with 38 strikeouts, 12 walks and 12 saves over 23 1⁄3 innings.
Babylon’s Ricky Negron (University of Tampa) was taken by the Braves in the 34th round. The Spartans infielder has played previously for Auburn.
Shoreham Wading River’s Tyler Osik, who played third base at Chipola JC in Florida, was taken in the 40th round by the Pirates.
With Gregg Sarra