Anthony Solometo, a 6-foot-5, 218-pound left-hander from Bishop Eustace High School, was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the first pick of the second round on Monday to kick off Day 2 of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
He was the 37th overall selection. The suggested bonus slot value for that pick is $2 million.
Solometo, a University of North Carolina recruit, was 4-0 with one save in six games this season in leading Eustace to a 21-1 record. In 32⅓ innings, he struck out 64, walked just five and had a 0.22 ERA.
“It was an exhilarating feeling and words can’t describe how excited and happy I am,” Solometo said of his draft selection in a phone interview with The Inquirer.
He didn’t find out he was being drafted that much sooner than the general public.
“I found out two minutes before the pick,” he said. “I’m so happy with all the great players the Pirates chose and this whole thing is mind-blowing.”
Solometo echoed the thoughts of many draft choices, who have been under the microscope for quite some time.
“I am definitely relieved that this is over,” he said. “I am now looking forward to meeting with the Pirates.”
He said that meeting will likely occur sometime next week.
Malvern Prep centerfielder Lonnie White Jr. was also selected by the Pirates, with the 64th overall pick as a competitive balance B selection. This season, White batted .395 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 25 RBIs for the Friars.
It’s likely that White would have been selected higher, but he has accepted a football scholarship to Penn State. So the Pirates will have some competition for his services. The 6-3, 212-pound White was recruited by the Nittany Lions as a wide receiver.
The suggested bonus slot value of the 64th pick is $1.05 million.
Malvern Prep head coach Fred Hilliard sent this tweet after White was drafted.
The Pirates had the first pick in the draft on Sunday and chose Louisville catcher Henry Davis.
Here are several other local players who were drafted Monday:
Villanova right-hander Gordon Graceffo was selected in the fifth round by the St. Louis Cardinals, the 151st overall selection. The suggested slot value is $353,700. A fourth-year junior, Graceffo was 7-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 11 appearances this season, all starts. He struck out 86 in 82 innings while walking just 13.
Duke senior outfielder Joey Loperfido, a graduate of Haddonfield High, was selected in the seventh round by the Houston Astros, the 208th overall selection. The suggested slot value is $216,600. This season he batted. 374 with a 1.085 OPS.
Conor Larkin, a senior right-hander from Penn State who attended Spring-Ford, was selected in the ninth round by the Toronto Blue Jays, He was 3-8 with a 5.09 ERA but struck out 69 in 63 2/3 innings. The suggested slot value is $152,900.
C.J. Widger, a 6-6, 170-pound freshman left-hander from Rowan College at Gloucester County and a graduate of Pennsville High, was drafted in the 10th round by the Texas Rangers, the 284th overall selection. He was 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA. The suggested slot value is $149,300.
Solometo was the second local player and second from South Jersey to be selected in this year’s draft. On Sunday, Mainland right-hander Chase Petty was the No. 26 overall selection in the first round by the Minnesota Twins.
The draft will resume Tuesday at noon with rounds 11-20.