As the MLB Draft heads into the home stretch, UConn fans saw catcher Max McDowell, second baseman Vinny Siena and pitcher Carson Cross taken off the board today.
McDowell was the first Husky selected in the 2015 Draft. With the 391st pick, the Milwaukee Brewers selected the junior catcher. McDowell hit .286 with 7 home runs and 39 RBI this season.
One round later, the New York Mets made Vinny Siena the 419th pick. Siena, who started all 60 games for the Huskies this season, led the team with a .360 batting average. He hit 7 home runs and had a team high 54 RBI.
Just twelve picks later in the 14th round, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they selected third team All-American Carson Cross. Cross, a senior, finished 10-2 with a 2.29 ERA with 108 strikeouts this year. Cross was one of the most decorated pitchers in the country. He became UConn's first All-American pitcher since 2011, named the American's Conference Pitcher of the Year and earned a spot on the National Pitcher of the Year's finalist list.
Although the season did not end in the postseason glory coach Jim Penders expected out of his squad, seeing three players get drafted is a definite boost to the program. McDowell and Siena have the option to return to Storrs for their senior seasons, but the allure of professional baseball will surely be persuasive.
As for Cross, his future begins today. The Cardinals have a long established tradition of strong player development. Rolling the dice on an accomplished pitcher like Cross, despite his injury history, is a solid gamble.
Congrats to Max, Vinny and Carson. Having covered the team and spoken to each of them, I can say that this accomplishment could not have happened to better or nice guys.