Locals in the MLB draft: Coatesville's Stauffer picked by Orioles

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Zach Warren pitching for St. Augustine in May 2014.

Adam Stauffer knew one of the best moments of his life was going to happen a few minutes before it did.

The Baltimore Orioles picked the Coatesville product in the 19th round of the MLB draft on Wednesday. A few rounds before they did, Nate Showalter — an Orioles scout and son of Orioles manager Buck Showalter — called Stauffer to talk. Showalter wanted to know what price it would take for Stauffer to forgo his college career at St. John’s and sign a pro deal.

The talks were productive. In the 18th round, Stauffer received a call from his adviser, who said to be ready for the Orioles’ pick in the 19th round. And as of Wednesday afternoon, Stauffer was leaning toward signing with the Orioles.

“I’ve obviously got a lot of people telling me to go to college,” he said. “… But the right decision for me is the decision I’m not going to regret.”

He believes that decision is the pro contract.

Stauffer has 30 days to choose, but thinks he will do so sooner. Until then, he will keep asking himself: “Is this for me? Is this what I want to do?”

If the answer is yes, Stauffer could join the Orioles’ rookie ball club in Sarasota, Fla., as soon as next month.

For Sterling graduate Donovan Casey, the day was more anticlimactic. Casey spent the morning working with his father at City Select Auto Sales in Camden, and then he drove home to eat lunch. As he pulled into the driveway, his father called and told him the Dodgers had selected him in the 20th round.

“I was like, ‘All right, I’ll take it,’ ” Casey said.

He was excited, but he also knows he has a decision to make. The outfielder just finished his junior season at Boston College, in which he started all 53 games and hit .286 with a .370 on-base percentage. He now can forego his senior season and sign with the Dodgers or go back to BC and re-enter the draft next season.

Casey plans to talk over the decision with his parents and consider both options. In earning a signing bonus, he could pay off his student loans and give himself a cushion for the difficult first few years as a minor-leaguer. He also wants to make sure his last year of school is paid for.

He said he and the Dodgers did not discuss financial figures. Wednesday was a day for enjoying the honor.

“It shows how much time and work and energy it takes to put into finally getting drafted,” Casey said.

Zach Warren could be coming back to his hometown franchise to begin his pro career. After three seasons at Tennessee, the Vineland, N.J., native and St. Augustine Prep product was the Phillies’ 14th-round pick in the MLB draft Wednesday.

Warren, 21, pitched to a 2.69 ERA as a senior at St. Augustine and a 1.26 ERA as a junior. He was also a 23rd-round pick out of high school in 2014 but opted to attend Tennessee. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound lefty struggled a bit for the Volunteers this year, making 11 starts in 18 outings with a 6.31 ERA. He walked 29 in 51 1/3 innings.

With one year of eligibility left, he could return to school and re-enter the draft next June.

Shawn Semple became the first local product selected on the third and final day of the draft. The Swedesboro, N.J., native and Paul VI graduate became the 11th-round pick (332nd) overall of the New York Yankees.

Semple played three years for Paul VI and made the all-conference first team as a senior in 2014. He then went to the University of New Orleans, where he finished his junior season 9-3 with a 3.07 ERA this spring. He struck out 109 over 93 2/3 innings in 15 starts.

Also in the 11th round, Penn State produced its first 2017 draft pick: righthanded pitcher Sal Biasi, who went 330th overall to the Kansas City Royals.

Biasi, a native of Hazleton, Pa., just finished a junior season in which he went 5-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts. His control was an issue, with 39 walks in 72 1/3 innings, but he was the Nittany Lions’ ace. At Hazleton High School, he pitched to a 1.71 ERA as a senior and also hit .445.

Angel Lopez Alvarez, a catcher from Perkiomen School, came in off the radar as a 13th-round pick by the Cleveland Indians out of Northampton Community College. With a .411 average and .858 slugging percentage last season, Alvarez was the best hitter on a Northampton team that went 35-9 and reached the NJCAA World Series. He also hit 14 home runs and 17 doubles as a sophomore this spring.

Penn junior righthander Billy Lescher went in the 17th round to the Detroit Tigers. The 21-year-old took a step forward for the Quakers this spring, totaling four saves with a 3.18 ERA in 16 appearances.

As a junior, Lescher also could return for his senior season at Penn, which finished 23-22 this season.

Wednesday ended a fast rise to the draft for Cardinal O’Hara graduate Will Latcham, whom the St. Louis Cardinals selected in the 17th round (514th overall). As a junior at Coastal Carolina this season, Latcham picked up three wins and four saves in 14 relief outings with a 1.05 ERA. He struck out 29 and walked just six in 25 2/3 innings.

Before that, he pitched for Cumberland County Community College in New Jersey for two years. In his second year, he posted a 1.84 ERA in 13 starts and led the NJCAA’s Division III with 128 strikeouts. At O’Hara, Latcham earned first-team all-Catholic League honors as a senior in 2014 and second-team honors as a junior.

Penn ace Jake Cousins joined Lescher in the draft in the 20th round, 613th overall. Cousins blossomed into Penn’s ace this spring as a senior, finishing 7-2 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 starts. The West Chicago, Ill., native earned first-team all-Ivy League honors. He also finished third in school history with 20 wins.

Mark Washington became the Dodgers’ 25th-round pick three years after graduating from Episcopal Academy. He struggled this season at Lehigh, posting an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings with 17 walks and eight strikeouts. Last year, though, he compiled a 1.80 ERA. The 6-7 Glen Mills native still has one year of eligibility remaining.

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Philadelphia University lefthander Abraham Almonte in the 26th round, making Almonte the first Rams player drafted since Alan Wawrzyniak and Shaun Babula in 1999. Almonte, a 5-11, 190-pound native of Danbury, Conn., made 12 appearances (eight starts) as a fifth-year senior this spring, finishing with a 2.40 ERA in 56 1/3 innings.

Adam Bleday became the third Penn player drafted, the first time the Quakers have produced three picks in a year since 2003. The Houston Astros took Bleday in the 27th round.

Bleday moved into Penn’s starting rotation as a senior, finishing 2-5 with a 4.77 ERA. The Panama City Beach, Fla., native began his college career at Virginia, where he made one appearance before transferring to Gulf Coast College in 2015 and ending up at Penn for his last two seasons.

Davis Schneider of Eastern heard his name just a few minutes after he finished a game at third base in the Carpenter Cup. The Toronto Blue Jays selected Schneider in the 28th round.

The two-time All-South Jersey honoree hit .444 as a senior at Eastern and has committed to play at Rutgers on a full scholarship if he doesn’t sign with the Blue Jays.

Villanova had a draftee in the 29th round, when the Colorado Rockies picked second baseman Todd Czinege, who started all 199 games of his four-year college career. A career .307 hitter and three-time all-Big East selection, he finished as one of the best players in Villanova history.

The Boston Red Sox picked Rancocas Valley outfielder Tyler Dearden in the 29th round, 881st overall. Listed at 6-1, 155 pounds, Dearden has committed to play at Penn State next year. Baseball America ranks the Mount Holly native ninth among New Jersey prospects and 449th overall.

Andrew Carber has jumped around on his journey to the draft, making four stops since graduating from Upper Dublin in 2013. He began college at Clemson, but after he couldn’t land a spot on the baseball team as a walk-on, he played for the All-American Baseball Academy in Warrington, Harford Community College in Maryland, and most recently Chipola (Fla.) College. The Boston Red Sox picked the righthander in the 30th round Wednesday.

Carber also played basketball and golf in high school. MLB.com lists him at 6-9, 232 pounds. He pitched in six games for Chipola this season, giving up three runs in four innings.

The New York Yankees used their 31st-round pick on Duke sophomore outfielder Jimmy Herron, a La Salle College High School product. Herron started all 58 games for the Blue Devils this spring and hit a team-high .326 with a .412 on-base percentage. He stole 17 bases in 24 tries.

At La Salle, Herron was an all-Catholic League selection in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He won two state championships with the Explorers. Herron also played five games with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League last summer.

The long wait ended even later for West Chester Rustin senior righthanded pitcher Chris McMahon, who went in the 33rd round to the Atlanta Braves. Listed at 6-2, 192 pounds, McMahon was the No. 100 draft prospect according to MLB.com and No. 76 according to Baseball America. McMahon, 18, threw a no-hitter for Rustin last month amid a dominant season. He has signed to play for the University of Miami next season.

Penn broke a school record in the 33rd round, when junior righthander Jake Nelson became the Quakers’ fourth player drafted this year. He could become a Detroit Tigers teammate of Billy Lescher. Nelson posted a 2.25 ERA in 10 outings this year with three saves. He led the Ivy League with five saves last year as a sophomore.

The San Diego Padres selected Malvern Prep catcher Shane Muntz in the 36th round. Muntz originally committed to Virginia Tech but switched his decision to Wake Forest, where he could go if he decides not to sign with the Padres.

Jared Price was drafted for the second time, by the Miami Marlins in the 37th round. The New York Mets also picked him in the 33rd round out of Twin Valley in 2012, but he chose to attend Maryland instead.

Price was a relief pitcher for the Terps for five years, receiving a medical redshirt after missing most of the 2016 season with an injury. He returned this year to pitch in 16 games with a 3.04 ERA and 27 strikeouts.

South Jersey snuck in one more pick with Delsea right-handed pitcher Brad Dobzanski, the San Francisco Giants’ 39th-round choice. Dobzanski could also choose to play next year at Kentucky, where he earned a scholarship after a strong junior season and a summer with the 9ers Baseball Club.

The Philly area’s final selection was infielder Andrew Turner, a King of Prussia native and Conestoga graduate, the Marlins’ 40th-round pick. As a junior at Long Island University this season, Turner hit .339 with a .431 on-base percentage and six home runs. He was also a captain of the hockey team at Conestoga.