With the 203rd pick of the MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins selected UConn baseball shortstop Anthony Prato. He is the second Husky off the board, joining closer Jake Wallace.
The Staten Island native has been a steady presence at short for the last three seasons, hitting over .300 in every year. However, he improved his plate discipline this past season, walking 40 times compared to just 16 times as a sophomore. Because of this, his on-base percentage jumped from .388 to .441.
Those around the program are very high on Prato’s pro prospects and expect him to continue to hit well at every level he plays at. Though his power numbers don’t jump off the page (just six career home runs), Prato has enough raw strength that his power hitting should develop as he progresses throughout the minors.
He put that strength on full display in the Huskies’ first game against Oklahoma State, clobbering a home run ball to give UConn some much-needed insurance runs.
Prato is also a strong fielder, making just seven errors this past season (.976 fielding percentage). He showed off his fielding ability during the NCAA Tournament when he ran into foul territory and made an incredible catch on a ball third baseman David Langer lost in the sun. The play earned Prato the number one spot on Sportscenters’ Top 10 plays for the week.
In addition to his physical tools, head coach Jim Penders often praised Prato for being a coach on the field ever since his freshman season. This year, the coach routinely referred to Prato as the best shortstop in the country.
While nothing is certain as of now, it would be a surprise if Prato didn’t sign with the Twins.