Right-hander Jimmy Kingsbury followed his father and mother as a student and athlete at Villanova. His father, Larry “Willy,” and mother, Maureen, played baseball and softball, respectively, at Villanova.
On Tuesday Jimmy Kingsbury took another similar path as his father when he was selected in the 17th round by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
Tuesday ended the three-day draft, with rounds 11 through 20.
Larry Kingsbury was drafted in successive years by the Oakland A’s. He was selected in the 22nd round in 1991 and the 30th round in 1992.
Larry Kingsbury didn’t sign in 1991 because he wanted to graduate and shortly after signing in 1992 he tore his rotator cuff and never played professionally. Now his son is traveling a similar path, with (he hopes) the injury part left out.
“I am following his footsteps,” Jimmy Kingsbury said in a phone interview. “My mom played softball and my dad baseball at Villanova and it is a blessing to say I pitched there and now to say I have been drafted, it is an unbelievable feeling.”
Jimmy Kingsbury is from Phoenixville and played at one of the area’s top high school programs, Malvern Prep.
He is a senior, but has another year of eligibility. Jimmy Kingsbury has earned his undergraduate degree in communications.
“I was planning to return for a fifth year and earn my masters, but now I think that is all going to change,” he said.
The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Kingsbury appeared in 16 games for Villanova this season, making nine starts. He was 5-4 with a 4.87 ERA and four saves. In 64 ⅔ innings he recorded 86 strikeouts.
“It doesn’t matter whether I’m used as a starter or reliever, I just want to help the team win,” he said.
Kingsbury was the second Villanova pitcher selected in this draft, with right-hander Gordon Graceffo picked in the fifth round on Monday by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Here are other players with local ties who were drafted:
— Dylan Heid, a senior right-hander from University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown and a graduate of Great Valley High School, was selected in the 11th round by the Baltimore Orioles. In nine starts he was 7-2 with a 1.37 ERA.
— Wake Forest senior catcher Shane Muntz, a graduate of Malvern Prep, was selected in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
— Penn State senior right-hander Kyle Virbitsky, a graduate of Episcopal Academy, was selected in the 17th round by Oakland. In 13 starts this season, Virbitsky went 5-4 with a 4.17 ERA. He recorded 88 strikeouts in 77 ⅔ innings.
— Old Dominion senior right-hander Ryne Moore, a graduate of Spring-Ford, was selected in the 18th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Moore was 9-1 with a 3.16 ERA this season.
— Penn senior shortstop Josh Hood was selected in the 20th round by the Boston Red Sox. He did not play this season, looking to keep a year of eligibility. Hood is a local product from South Jersey’s St. Augustine Prep.