The MLB draft took place this week, and it turned out very well for three area baseball players.
The excitement began on Tuesday as the Toronto Blue Jays took Columbia High School alumni Kevin Smith in the fourth round. He is currently a junior at Maryland, where he committed after he graduated Columbia in 2014. He became known as a power threat at the plate who is an above-average shortstop, as he hit .268 with 13 home runs and averaged nearly an RBI per game, totaling 48 of them in 53 games played this season.
Early Wednesday, the trend continued as Shenendehowa alumni Justin Yurchak went in the 12th round to the Chicago White Sox. He began his collegiate career at Wake Forest before transferring to Binghamton following his freshman season. This season with the Bearcats, he hit an impressive .320 with three home runs and 26 RBIs in a total of 43 games. Yurchak continued his playing in the Capital Region during college, as he spent the summer of 2015 playing for the Amsterdam Mohawks of the PGCBL.
It kept going in the latter stages of the day, as Siena centerfielder Dan Swain was picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round of the draft. He had a fantastic year with the Saints despite battling injuries that kept him out of 11 games during the season. While he was healthy, he was one of the top players in the MAAC, hitting .324 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs.
Smith has said that he does plan on signing with Toronto and beginning his professional baseball career, and since he is a senior, Swain will likely sign as well. It is not known whether or not Yurchak will sign, and that will be a decision that he makes in the coming days and weeks.