Although Round 1 came and went without any Philadelphia-area selections, the 2018 MLB draft has already seen five local prospects come off the board — including a foursome on Day 2.
The Boston Red Sox used their second-round pick late Monday night to take Nick Decker, New Jersey’s Gatorade Player of the Year. The Seneca outfielder is just the second high-school position player taken from the Garden State since Mike Trout was a first-round pick back in 2009.
“I just can’t believe how blessed I am,” Decker told the Inquirer and Daily News on Tuesday morning. “I thank God every day for this opportunity.”
Jimmy Herron, a La Salle High alum and Duke junior, jumped all the way up to the third round after being selected in the 31st round last season. The Cubs used their 98th overall selection to take the Blue Devils outfielder, who is batting .298 this season.
“Growing up as a kid, you always dream of playing in the major leagues and to hear your name called,” Herron said last week. “It’s just cool to be recognized for having some success.”
The former Explorer was a standout on not just the diamond but the gridiron as well, setting Philadelphia Catholic League career records with 33 receiving touchdowns and 156 total receptions, earning him several Division I football scholarship offers.
“There are a lot of different facets to his game,” Duke head coach Chris Pollard said. “He swings and misses very little, he’s always been a .400-plus on-base percentage guy, he’s got the stolen bases, and he gives you a guy in that leadoff spot that can hit with a little bit of power.”
Mike Siani was the next Pennsylvania prospect to come off the board, going 109th overall to the Cincinnati Reds in the early stages of Round 4.
Siani, an outfielder for Penn Charter, hit .361 out of the leadoff spot with 25 runs, and the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year was ranked 40th by MLB.com among all prospects in the 2018 draft class.
But the 18-year-old Virginia recruit has indicated he might not turn pro — the slot comes with an approximate value of just more than $500,000.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to play at Virginia,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot for me not to go to college.”
St. Joseph’s University righthander Tim Brennan went in the seventh round to the Texas Rangers and Coatesville alum Brian Brown, a lefthander, rounded out the day for the City of Brotherly Love, joining Decker and the Red Sox with the 280th pick, a ninth-round selection.