Hauppauge lefthander Nick Fanti, selected in the 31st round of Major League Baseball's amateur draft in early June, has agreed to terms with the Phillies on a minor-league contract. He called it "a dream come true.''
"This is so cool because I never thought I'd be that person," said Fanti, who won the Yastrzemski Award, given to Suffolk's best player, hours after being drafted. "I get to play baseball as a job and it's not really a job. When you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life, and that's how I feel about it."
Hauppauge coach Josh Gutes wasn't surprised by Fanti's decision. "His dream has always been to play pro baseball since he was a little kid," Gutes said. "The character that he showed on and off the field was second to none. I'm incredibly proud of him."
Fanti knows 2009 Yastrzemski Award winner Steven Matz, and he said he congratulated him in a text message after Matz shined in his Mets debut Sunday. He hopes he someday can become another Long Island product to make The Show.
"It definitely motivates me," he said. "Maybe one day I'll have my debut against [Matz] since we're in the same division. That's one of my goals."
Before being drafted, Fanti accepted a scholarship to Marist. He notified the Marist coaching staff about his decision and said the coaches were "real classy and supportive in my decision on taking the Phillies' offer. It made me feel I made the right decision."
In his senior season in 2015, Fanti went 7-1 with a 0.67 ERA, a 0.63 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 52 innings. Only two of the 14 hits off him went for extra bases.
Fanti tossed consecutive no-hitters against Glenn and Huntington and carried a third straight no-hitter into the fifth inning against Bellport before Kail McLean II fisted a bloop single. He pitched 23 straight shutout innings.
"My senior year was the most fun I've had playing baseball," said Fanti, who allowed two hits and struck out 12 in a 1-0, eight-inning loss to East Islip in the Suffolk Class AA quarterfinals. "It's not because I had the best statistical year. It was because of the people I had around me. The support was always there."