Feeling the Draft

Amsterdam?Mohawks have 21 former players taken in MLB draft

Amsterdam's Matt Gorski (33) looks to beat out an infield single during a July 14, 2017, Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League game against the Albany Dutchmen at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam. Gorski was selected in the second round of this week's Major League Baseball draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gorski was one of 21 former Mohawks taken in this year's draft. (The Leader-Herald)

AMSTERDAM — For much of this week, a draft could be felt in Amsterdam.

Not just the kind of cool breeze that has become commonplace of late from Mother Nature, but the kind that saw a whopping 21 former Amsterdam Mohawks selected in the three-day Major League Baseball draft.

“It’s great because it means we are getting the right guys and guys with high-end talent,” Amsterdam Mohawks President and General Manager Brian Spagnola said.

The 21-player total set a new franchise record for Mohawks’ draftees in a single draft.

“Having that many players drafted will rival any team in America,” Spagnola said. “The next closest in our league had five players, so I think it certainly helps. People nationally already know the type of player we expect to get here and this certainly reinforces that.”

A total of 11 players from the 2017 Amsterdam squad that went 36-12 were among those selected.

Leading the way was Matt Gorski (Indiana) who was selected in the second round by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 57th pick.

Will Holland (Auburn) was taken in the fifth round with 149th selection by the Minnesota Twins, Andrew Saalfrank (Indiana) was taken 182nd in the sixth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Ben Anderson (Binghamton) was taken 385th by the Texas Rangers.

Eric Rivera (Florida Atlantic/417th/14th round) was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays, Morgan McSweeney (Wake Forest/498th/17th round) was selected by the Baltimore Orioles, Dustin Skelton (Mississippi State/531st/18th round) was picked by the Miami Marlins, Joe LaSorsa (St. John’s/548th/18th round) was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays, Elliott Anderson (Auburn/679th/23rd round) was selected by the Kansas City Royals and Toby Welk (Penn State Berks/618th/21st round) was taken by the Baltimore Orioles.

Welk also played for the 2018 Mohawks team that reached the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League championship series before losing to the Jamestown Jammers.

In addition to Welk, six other players from the 2018 team were selected.

Joe Genord (South Florida/268th/ninth round) was taken by the New York Mets, Elvis Peralta (Marshall/794th/26th round) was taken by the Oakland Athletics, Peyton Plumlee (Mississippi State/946th/31st round) was selected by the Houston Astros, Tanner Allen (Mississippi State/1,029th/34th round), Cole Barr (Indiana/1,116th/37th round) was taken by the Seattle Mariners and Chris Lanzilli (Wake Forest/1,166th/39th round) was picked by the San Francisco Giants.

Genord also played for the 2016 Mohawks team, which won the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League title. In addition to Genord, four other players from the 2016 team was selected.

Jeff Belge was taken in the 18th round with the 551st pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris Givin (Xavier/563rd/19th round) was taken by the San Diego Padres, Pauly Milto (Indiana/680th/23rd round) was taken by the Chicago White Sox and Cameron Enck (Rollins/819th/27th round) was selected by the Colorado Rockies.

From the 2015 Amsterdam Mohawks team, Grayson Byrd (Clemson) was selected in the 24th round with the 73nd pick by the Chicago Cubs.

In addition to their 21 draftees, Amsterdam also had Thomas Lane (Boston College) from the 2017 team and Tristen Carranza (New Mexico State) sign as a free agents with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks, respectively.

“It’s special to know that we are part of their process and that many of them made huge strides while here,” Spagnola said. “We often hear guys tell us that this was the biggest summer that made a difference in their development.”

The MLB draft began Monday with rounds one and two. Rounds three through 10 took place Tuesday, and the draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 11 through 40.

The 2019 Major League Baseball Draft saw 37 alumni of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League selected in the 40-round process. The 37 draft picks included representatives of seven PGCBL franchises, and saw 23 of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball select at least one player that spent time with a PGCBL team, a total that marks an increase from the 19 a season ago.

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a 12-team summer league played throughout upstate New York. In addition to Amsterdam, the PGCBL consists of teams located in Little Falls, Glens Falls, Albany, Newark, Geneva, Oneonta, Boonville, Utica, Saugerties, Watertown, and Elmira. The PGCBL is one of the elite wood bat summer leagues in America. To be eligible to play in the PGCBL, a player must have completed at least one year of college and must still have at least one year of playing eligibility remaining.

Each team is allowed two exceptions to that rule where graduating seniors are eligible to play. The players must first be approved by Perfect Game USA. They must also be enrolled full-time at a college or university.