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Jun, 2019

Eight PONY Alumni drafted on MLB Draft's first night

PONY Baseball is proud to congratulate eight of its alumni on being drafted by Major League Baseball Clubs during the first day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft last night.

The first former PONY player off the board was Mustang World Series Champion Alek Manoah of West Virginia at pick number-11 to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-American, Manoah was one of the top hurlers in college baseball this year. He was nationally ranked in a multitude of statistical categories, including innings pitched, ERA, strikeouts and strikeout-to-walk ratio, while leading the Mountaineers as their Friday, weekend starter. He has an upper-90s fastball and a devastating slider to go along with a changeup. Check out the video below from earlier this season, when Manoah discussed the impact PONY Baseball had on his life playing for Tamiami Youth Baseball in Miami, Florida.


The next PONY alum off the board was Pony-13 World Series Champion and Colt World Series participant Keoni Cavaco out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California. Cavaco, an 18-year-old power-hitting third baseman who played for Chula Vista South Pony Baseball League growing up, was drafted 13th overall to the Minnesota Twins. Next was starting pitcher Quinn Priester, a two-sport athlete out of the Cary-Grove High School in Illinois. Priester was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 18th-overall pick. He is the first starting pitcher out of high school that was a PONY alum to be drafted by the Pirates, since Jameson Taillon went second overall in 2010. Rounding out the first round was third baseman Davis Wendzel to the Texas Rangers at pick number-41. Wendzel, the Big 12 Conference's Co-Player of the Year, did it all for the Baylor Bears this season. He bat .367 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs, while leading his team to an NCAA Regional.

In Round 2, UCLA and Sierra Madre Pony Baseball's own Ryan Garcia was taken at pick number-50 by the Rangers. After starting the year injured for the Bruins, Garcia shined in the 14 appearances he made for his team, and he currently holds a 1.39 ERA with an impressive 10-0 record and a ridiculous 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings rate. The Milwaukee Brewers then drafted Wabash Valley College and Des Plaines Youth Baseball's ace starting pitcher Antoine Kelly at pick number-65. In 52.2 innings with Wabash Valley, Kelly struck out 112 hitters, while only allowing 31 walks with a 1.88 ERA. Kelly's fastball mirrors Manoah's, peaking at 98 miles per hour. Boys Baseball of Puerto Rico's Matthew Lugo was drafted next by the Boston Red Sox 69th-overall. An 18-year-old athletic, highly-skilled defensive second baseman, Lugo could either sign with Boston and develop in its system or fans could see him play next year at the University of Miami. Lugo is the nephew of PONY alum and future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran. To round out the second round, Stanford's Kyle Stowers of El Cajon, California was drafted 71st-overall by Baltimore. In a cool moment, Stowers found out he was drafted as he was playing in an NCAA Regional game against Fresno State. Check out the story here.

Among other former PONY players that are anticipated to be drafted highly on day two of the MLB Draft are Andrew Dalquist of Redondo Union (CA) High School / Torrance American Boys Baseball; John Rave of Illinois State / McLean County Pony Baseball and Hunter Brown of Wayne State / St. Clair Shores Baseball Association. Rounds 3-10 of the MLB Draft begin today at 1 p.m. ET/US. If you know of a former PONY player who has been drafted, please email [email protected]

Draft Tracker

Round 1, Pick 11: SP Alek Manoah, West Virginia (Toronto Blue Jays) -- League: Tamiami Youth Baseball
Round 1, Pick 13: 3B Keoni Cavaco, Eastlake (CA) HS (Minnesota Twins) -- League: Chula Vista South Pony Baseball League
Round 1, Pick 18: SP Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove (IL) HS (Pittsburgh Pirates) -- League: Cary-Grove Youth Baseball
Comp A, Pick 41: 3B Davis Wendzel, Baylor (Texas Rangers) -- League: Dana Point Youth Baseball
Round 2, Pick 50: SP Ryan Garcia, UCLA (Texas Rangers) -- League: Sierra Madre Pony Baseball
Round 2, Pick 65: SP Antoine Kelly, Wabash Valley College (Milwaukee Brewers) -- League: Des Plaines Youth Baseball
Round 2, Pick 69: SS Matthew Lugo, Carlos Beltran Academy (Boston Red Sox) -- League: Boys Baseball of Puerto Rico
Comp B, Pick 71: OF Kyle Stowers, Stanford (Baltimore Orioles) -- League: Emerald Pony Baseball

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