FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.—Seven former Fayetteville SwampDogs were taken over the three day span of the 2016 Major League Baseball Player Draft this week marking over 100 alumni drafted in 16 seasons of the franchise.
Joey Lucchesi (Southeast Missouri) becomes the highest SwampDogs draft pick since Carter Capps was taken in the second round of 2011’s draft. Lucchesi heads back to his home state of California after being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. The 6’4 lefty from Newark, CA vaulted up the draft board while going 10-5 for the Southeast Missouri RedHawks this spring, with a dominating 149 strikeouts in 111 innings pitched. In 2015, Lucchesi caught scouts attention in Fayetteville by posting a 1-1 record with a 2.29 ERA in four starts for the SwampDogs. He fanned 25 batters in 19.2 innings for Fayetteville.
“Fayetteville was a great experience and I met a lot of really great people,” Lucchesi said from his home in Newark, CA on Saturday. “I’m very thankful for being able to make good friends and getting to play in a good league. It was really, really good competition and that helped me. After I won the Player Of the Year Award last year, it made me want to work harder. I got stronger and smarter. I’ve gotten so much smarter on the mound and that made a huge difference this year.”
Mitchell Kranson (UC Berkeley) went in the ninth round to the Minnesota Twins as a catcher after his best offensive collegiate season. The Danville, CA native posted a .333 bating average while starting 52 of the Bears’ 53 games this spring. Kranson played four positions while bopping five home runs and driving in 36 runs. He showed that durability and versatility at The Swamp in 2013. He drove in 19 runs while playing in 50 games as a SwampDog.
Nick Hartman rounds out the group of SwampDogs taken on Day Two of the 2016 MLB Player Draft, going in the ninth round to the Toronto Blue Jays. The righty out of Old Dominion was excellent for the SwampDogs in 2014 posting a 2.63 ERA in 9 appearances. He closed games full-time after leaving The Swamp, posting 12 saves over the last two seasons for Old Dominion.
Mitchell Roman (Wright State) was the first SwampDog off the board on day three. Taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 12th Round, the shortstop his .311 in 2015 for the SwampDogs. Roman earned the All-Horizon League squad by tying the league lead for stolen bases with 26 and swinging at a .336 clip this spring at Wright State.
Nick Blackburn (Illinois) was a 16th round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 6-2 righty locked down 11 saves for the Fighting Illini this spring. In 2013, Blackburn made four starts for the SwampDogs while registering a 2-1 record.
The Miami Marlins selected right-hand pitcher Alex Mateo (Nova Southeastern) in the 22nd round. Mateo excelled in 2014 on the mound for the SwampDogs in two starts, with a minuscule 1.93 ERA.
Brandon Boggetto (Southeast Missouri) marks the seventh SwampDog taken in the three day draft, being picked up by the Washington Nationals in the 25th round. Bogetto his .286 for the SwampDogs in 2015.
The seven SwampDogs are divided among the last three Fayetteville ball clubs ranging from 2013-15. All seven players were taken in the first 25 rounds of the 40 round draft.
Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 910-426-5900, or by visiting www.goswampdogs.com/tickets.
About the SwampDogs:
The Fayetteville SwampDogs enter their 16th season playing in the Coastal Plain League. The SwampDogs are one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history, making the Petitt Cup Playoffs eight times in the past 11 seasons, reaching the championship round three times. The SwampDogs boast over 100 alumni taken in the draft and have produced seven players who have gone on to play in Major League Baseball including slugger Mark Reynolds and David Aardsma. For more information on the Fayetteville SwampDogs, visit their team website at www.goswampdogs.com and follow us on Twitter @GoSwampDogs and like us on Facebook at Fayetteville SwampDogs Baseball. Where baseball is fun!
About the Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 20th season in 2016, the CPL features 16 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 81 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.