Sammy Siani is excited for his big night and for good reason. If the experts are correct, Siani, a centerfielder for Penn Charter will hear his name Monday during the first evening of the three-day Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
On Monday, the first 78 selections will be made: the first two rounds, including compensation and competitive balance picks after each round.
“I am feeling great,” Siani said. “It has been a really excellent and fun journey I have been on these four years. Whatever way it takes me I think I am in a really good spot and excited.”
If the journey takes him in a similar direction as his brother Mike, he will be really excited. Last year Mike Siani, also a centerfielder from Penn Charter, was drafted in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds signed him with an over the slot bonus of $2 million.
“Having seen what my brother has been through has been a big help in understanding the process,” Siani said.
This season the 6-foot, 175-pound Siani hit .457. In 32 games he had eight doubles, nine triples, six home runs, 25 RBIs and 16 stolen bases for the Quakers.
Siani, who bats and throws lefthanded, has accepted a scholarship to Duke.
“I am in a great position, no matter what I chose to do,” Siani said.
According to Penn Charter coach Justin Hanley, Siani has a lot to offer.
“He probably has the quickest hands I have ever seen at the high school level and as a really good eye for the strike zone,” Hanley said.
Siani isn’t the only top prospect from the area.
Harriton right-hander Jack Kochanowicz and Malvern Prep outfielder Chris Newell have also been listed among the top 100 draft prospects in the country.
Kochanowicz went 6-0 with an 0.31 ERA this season. He said he touched 96 mph recently.
Newell hit .411 with 12 doubles, one triple, eight home run, 31 RBIs, 31 walks. He had a .565 on base percentage and .833 slugging percentage.
“Whatever happens, it is a win-win situation for me,” Newell said.
Former Perkiomen School righthander and current Lehigh junior Levi Stoudt is ranked No. 112 by Fangraphs and 129 by MLB.com.
Stoudt pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer, where he said he touched 97 mph.
“The Cape was huge for me to prove I could play against that type of competition,” Stoudt said.
Bensalem righthander Nick Dean, who is committed to Maryland, is ranked as the 155th top prospect by Fangraphs. Dean only pitched five innings this spring due to a shoulder injury, but he is expected to resume throwing in the second week of June according to coach Harry Daut.
Hammonton righthander Stephen Restuccio is ranked 194th by Fangraphs. He has a commitment to Virginia Tech. Restuccio says recently he has been contacted by several MLB teams.
Among others with area ties who could be drafted include Adam Laskey, a junior lefthander at Duke and a graduate from Haddon Heights. Laskey has been limited by injuries and had made just six appearances heading into the NCAA regionals over the weekend. Last summer he pitched well in the Cape Cod League. going 5-0 with a 1.18 ERA.
St. Augustine senior righthander Jayson Hoopes, who has committed to Virginia, is another player who could draw attention as is St. Joseph’s University junior righthander Jordan DiValerio.
A potential sleeper is Perkiomen School senior righthander Carlos Torres. This season the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Torres was 4-2 with a 1.34 ERA. He struck out 61 and walked 17 in 31 1/3 innings. Torres, who is originally from Puerto Rico, has committed to Lehigh.
“Several scouts came to watch him the last half of the season,” Perkiomen School baseball coach Ken Baker said. “He averages 90 and has touched at 93-94 and has the build that people like.”