Williamsville Native Selected In the First Round of Major League Baseball Draft
You could probably name a handful of players from Buffalo who are either playing in the NFL or NHL or have played in both professional sports leagues. Let’s face it, this is a football and hockey town.
Baseball is popular here in Western New York, however, and there have been locals who have made it all the way to Major League Baseball. The MLB entry draft is a bit different than the NFL or NHL one. For one it takes place during the MLB season.
The MLB Draft was held on Sunday evening and one talented local baseball player had his name called very early.
According to WIVB, Williamsville East catcher Joe Mack was drafted 31st overall by the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
The selection was part of the “Competitive Balance Round,” so even though it wasn’t technically in the original first round picks, it still counts as a first round selection.
This isn’t a surprise, however, as many had Mack as a first round selection before the draft. His coach at Will East, Chris Gruarin, says Mack is the sought-after, “five-tool player.”
For those who don’t know, the five-tool player in baseball can hit for power, hit for average, run, field and throw. Any ball player can a one or two of those well, but it’s rare for a player to do all five exceptionally.
Believe it or not, it’s the first time a Western New York native has been picked in the first round of the MLB Draft since Matt Winters (Williamsville High) did so in 1978, by the New York Yankees.
How cool is that? The first time in 43 years a player from the Buffalo area has been picked in the first round of the MLB Draft!