Stony Brook University's storybook season in baseball took a remarkable turn this week when an America East-record seven players were selected in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft. Joe Nathan, closer for the Texas Rangers, is the only Stony Brook alumnus in the big leagues. He might eventually have some company.
Travis Jankowski, OF, Jr., Lancaster, Pa. (first round, San Diego Padres)
Football was his main sport during his high school career in Lancaster. Told he was too thin to play major-college football, he concentrated on baseball. Became a major prospect after playing over the summer in the Cape Cod League, where he was the MVP. Going into Friday's games, he was first in Division I in triples (10), second in runs scored (75), fourth in hits (101), seventh in batting average (.417), sixth in stolen bases (36). Padres vice president Omar Minaya came to Stony Brook to see Jankowski play.
Hitting .312. Picked in the 39th round by the Orioles after last season, Cantwell made the best decision of his career by returning for his senior year. Coach Matt Senk said Cantwell has skills "all over the place," and one that could get him to the majors is his arm. He gunned down 20 of 28 would-be base stealers. If Cantwell makes it, perhaps an all-Stony Brook battery of Nathan-Cantwell could occur in Texas.
Most exciting player in the lineup because of his power. Hitting .393 with 12 home runs, 23 doubles and 70 runs batted in. Third in the nation in total bases (165), fourth in slugging percentage (.705) and seventh in RBIs. Had a big three-run homer run against Maine in the title game of the America East championship. Carmona also homered and was named most outstanding player in the Coral Gables Regional. William, his dad, played in the Blue Jays farm system and taught his son to become a switch hitter.
Terrific contact hitter who is hitting .390 this season with 18 doubles and 48 RBIs. Leads the nation in fewest strikeouts per at-bat, just six times in 223 at-bats through Friday. Has a career average of .360. Excellent fielder with a .969 percentage in three seasons. Drafted in high school by the Toronto Blue Jays. Lists Derek Jeter as his sports hero.
James Campbell, RHP, Jr., Bridgeport, Conn. (12th round, Los Angeles Dodgers)
The most valuable player in the America East championship, Campbell is 5-0 with a 2.92 ERA, allowing just 37 hits in 521/3 innings. He threw four shutout innings against Maine in the conference tournament finale. Can start or relieve. Teammates call him "Soup."
Made only his third start of the season in the Coral Gables Regional and pitched six innings in the key 12-5 victory. He is 6-2 with a 3.72 ERA and opposing batters are hitting .218.
America East pitcher of the year became Stony Brook's all-time leader in wins with 33. Won two games at the Coral Gables Regional, including the clincher against Central Florida on two days' rest. Is 11-1 with a 2.13 ERA for the season. Was 20-0 in his high school career.