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Draft results actually a positive for FAU baseball
It's tempting to look at yesterday's draft results and proclaim that Wednesday was another bad day for FAU baseball. It would also be a mistake.

Sure, it's disappointing the name of at least one Florida Atlantic player hasn't been called yet. For the program, however, it's more important that the Owls didn't lose any incoming players.

Baseball recruiting is different from other sports in that college coaches - especially at schools which aren't considered premier destinations - can't really go after the best talent. They have to recruit good players who are just a notch below exceptional.

It doesn't really do FAU baseball coach John McCormack (photo) much good to sign a bunch of top level players in November only to watch them become early round MLB draft choices and never step foot on campus.

That's why the signing of West Palm Beach-Cardinal Newman pitcher R. J. Alvarez was important, but being able to keep him despite major interest from at least three Major League clubs was crucial. Alvarez told me he turned down an offer of $150,000 to be the fifth round draft choice of at least one club. That dollar figure was only about half of what it would have taken to get him to jump to the pros. That's how much he values the college experience.

FAU appears to have kept yet-to-be announced signee Eddie Cassidy of Gulf Coast Commnity College, St. Petersburg Community College's John Rigg, Sante Fe Community College standout Andy Mee and Palm Beach Community College first baseman Dan Scheffler from leaving for the pros. Those players could still be selected in today's final 20 rounds, but it unlikely they will be offered enough incentive to make the jump.

And some team could still select Alvarez in the late rounds, taking the chance that they might be able to free up the money needed to sway him away from Boca Raton. Alvarez, though, seemed pretty pleased to be an Owl.

Hopefully Travis Ozga, William Block, Nick Criaris, Alex Pepe, Chris Schmitt and David Wilson hear their names called today. When they do, we'll have the full story on FAUOwlAccess.com.

It says a lot about McCormack that he was more interested in talking about the disappoint he felt for his seniors than about the relief and excitement he felt for not losing his incoming guys.
But make no mistake, yesterday was a big day for FAU baseball.

chuck
June 11, 2009

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