Cambridge, Mass.-- A total of five America East student-athletes were drafted during Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft. The three-day draft wrapped up Wednesday evening.
A trio of America East baseball standouts got the call on day two of the draft on Tuesday, June 6. The Houston Astros selected Pitcher of the Year Nick Tropeano from Stony Brook in the fifth round (160th overall pick), while the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted University of Maine center fielder Taylor Lewis with the first pick of the 10th round (302nd). Lewis' teammate, Black Bear pitcher Keith Bilodeau, went to the reigning World Champion San Francisco Giants in the 24th round, the 747th overall pick.
Two more names were called in the draft's final day. Albany right-handed pitcher Dave Kubiak went to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 36th round (1109th), while Stony Brook catcher Pat Cantwell was the 1,175th overall pick in the 39th round by the Baltimore Orioles.
One of 25 finalists for the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Pitcher
of the Year Award, Tropeano set America East single season records for
wins (12) and strikeouts (119). A two-time America East Pitcher of the
Year, Tropeano ranked second in the country in victories and fifth in
strikeouts per nine innings (11.52).
Tropeano led the 2011 Seawolves to their first America East regular season title and a school record 42 wins during his junior campaign.
Lewis, also a junior, saw action in 148 games with the Black Bears the previous three
years starting 131. He batted .321 with 118 runs scored and 92 RBI. He
had 25 doubles, 20 triples and 10 home runs. He also stole 41 bases in
three years. His 13 triples as a junior set a school and America East
record. He broke the previous record of five set in 1932 by Amel
This year, Lewis was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2011
America East Tournament. He also earned a spot on the America East
All-Tournament Team. In 2010, he was named to the America East First
Bilodeau, a junior right-hander had an outstanding season for the Black Bears, finishing
10-3 with a 3.04 ERA. He pitched 91.2 innings on the season with five
complete games and a pair of shutouts. He struck out a team-high 83
batters on the season. His 10 wins tied a Maine school record for wins
in a season.
Bilodeau earned the start in Maine's Maine's NCAA Regional opener
against #3 North Carolina. After allowing four runs in the first inning,
Bilodeau allowed no runs and just three hits the remainder of the game.
He earned the win against Binghamton in the America East Tournament
opener by pitching a complete game.
Bilodeau was named to the America East First Team and also earned a
spot on the America East All-Tournament Team. He was also named to the
New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association First Team last week.
Kubiak, a 6-foot-7,
245-pound right hander, was the Great Danes' ace pitcher, starting 14
games on the mound this season. He recorded a 4.72 ERA as a senior, and
led the UAlbany pitching staff with 73 strikeouts, which tied for fourth
on the single-season chart. He threw five complete games, including one
shutout, and allowed just 43 earned runs in 82 innings of work. Kubiak
finished his four-year career as the UAlbany program leader with 227
strikeouts and 278 innings pitched. His 82 innings this season was good
for second on the single-season record board.
A first team All-America East selection, Cantwell started 54 games at
catcher this season and hit .308 with 14 doubles. He also threw out 16
of 26 would be base stealers which was first in the America East.
Cantwell was a second team all-conference selection in 2010 as he
hit .361 with 46 runs scored in 51 starts. He was also named the Most
Outstanding Player at the 2010 America East tournament as he led the
Seawolves to their second title in three seasons.