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Jays select Seneca’s Comer with 57th pick

Kevin Comer almost gave up and went to bed.

Seneca pitcher Kevin Comer was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. (Marc Narducci/Staff)
Seneca pitcher Kevin Comer was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. (Marc Narducci/Staff)Read more

Kevin Comer almost gave up and went to bed.

Then the telephone rang.

"There were like three or four picks left," Comer said. "Then out of nowhere, my dad got a phone call and all of a sudden, they were saying my name on the TV."

Comer, a senior righthanded pitcher for Seneca High in Tabernacle, Burlington County, was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays Monday night with the 57th pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

Asked if he was a Blue Jays fan, Comer said, "I might have to be."

Comer said he watched the draft on the MLB Network with family and a few friends. The draft started at 7 p.m. He wasn't selected until nearly 11.

Only the first round and "sandwich" round of compensation picks between the first and second rounds were held on Monday night. The draft resumes on Tuesday.

Comer was tracked by every major-league team during Seneca's season and said he had in-house visits with officials from most teams.

Before the draft, one American League scout said "signability" was a question with Comer because he has a scholarship offer to Vanderbilt University.

Comer said Friday that Vanderbilt presented a "great opportunity" but also said he was intrigued by the possibility of starting his professional career.

As the 57th pick, he probably would command a signing bonus in the $700,000 range, according to MLB slot figures. But teams often offer well above the projected slot figures to lure players away from college scholarship offers.

He is expected to start for Seneca in the New Jersey Group 3 state semifinals Tuesday afternoon at Rutgers.

Comer is the first South Jersey player to be selected in the first or compensation round since Millville's Mike Trout was selected by the Angels in 2009.

Comer has thrown just 291/3 innings this season because of a series of minor injuries.

For the season, Comer is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA, with 49 strikeouts and 15 walks.

Comer struck out 100 in 502/3 innings as a junior. He committed to Vanderbilt after narrowing his choices to the Southeastern Conference school and UCLA.

An American League scout who asked not to be identified said Comer has "one of the best arms" of all the high school and college pitchers from Washington to Maine.

"He has everything you're looking for," the scout said.