Five MAAC Players Selected In 2018 MLB Draft
The annual MLB draft took place this year from June 4 through June 6, where 1,200 players were selected. Five of those happened to come from Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schools, which also is the 15th time in MAAC history with at least that many picks.
Nobody from the conference was selected on the first day of the draft, but senior Tyler Smith of Canisius College was able to get the call on the second day. The Los Angeles Angels selected the 2018 MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year in the 8th round, with the 241st overall pick. He posted a 0.98 ERA this past year over 25 appearances, notching 10 saves and 43 strikeouts as well.
The third and final day of the draft resulted in the other four MAAC student-athletes getting selected. Next came Niagara University’s leading slugger Greg Cullen, who was the 442nd overall pick (15th round) to the Atlanta Braves. The junior also was the leading hitter for the entire NCAA, as he led all Division 1 schools in both average (.458) and on-base percentage (.556). He pulled in 81 hits on the year and is also a semifinalist for the prestigious Dick Howser Award.
Fabian Pena was drafted by the Giants in the 25th round, with the 736th pick. Manhattan College’s junior catcher hit six home runs, scored 32 runs, and batted in 36 last season. If Pena signs with San Francisco, this will wrap up an impressive college career that includes being the former MAAC Rookie of the Year (2016), and also a two-time member of the All-MAAC First Team.
Next was Siena College’s Marcos Campos, who was also picked by the Giants. The 856th overall pick (29th round) was new to the Saints this year after spending the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Citrus Junior College in California, yet stepped up impressively. He finished the year with a .322 average, 77 hits, 17 doubles, 25 RBI, 41 runs scored, and was named to the 2018 All-MAAC Second Team.
The final MAAC pick of the draft, Joe Jacques, was selected in the 33rd round (984th pick) by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The left-handed graduate pitcher yielded an impressive 2.61 ERA in 38 innings this season, also striking out the same number. He had a 1-2 record over 8 starts, and walked just 12 batters throughout the year.