CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Major League Baseball Draft has been cut from 40 rounds to just five due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a busy couple of nights for the University of Miami baseball team.
The Canes season was cut short, as was the dream to win a national championship in Omaha, but a handful of UM players will now get to live out their dream at the next level. It starts with hearing their names called on Wednesday and Thursday night for the MLB Draft.
Pitchers Chris McMahon and Slade Cecconi, and infielders Freddy Zamora and Alex Toral, are all listed as Top 200 players in most pre-draft rankings. McMahon and Cecconi are projected to potentially be first round picks.
While the stoppage of the season and need to change up their training routines has been unexpected, both pitchers told Local 10 they’re excited about the chance to be professional players.
“I’ve been kind of adjusting to this whole process with all these zoom calls and talking to people (teams) and just stuff like that and trying to make the most of these weird times,” explained McMahon. He also said it doesn’t diminish the feeling of getting that call. “A lot of feelings going on right now. Obviously looking forward to getting our names called. It’s very exciting,” said McMahon.
The pair of pitchers could even have their names called around the same time or back-to-back in that first round.
“I hope we do. I don’t care who goes in front of the other. I just want to see us both have the chance to excel at the next level with whoever we go to and keep that healthy competition at the next level,” Cecconi joked.
All the players know they should be in Omaha right around now, but the chance to move on to the pros will still make the next two days very special. As to what happens next with the uncertainty of MLB and the 2020 season, the drafted players will just have to wait and see.
“Right at the end of this week it’ll be like where do I go from here? No one knows really knows. Hopefully we’ll hear some news from that in the next coming weeks,” McMahon says.