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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
MLB Draft: Weathered expectations on Day 3

By Brendan Hall

John Magliozzi was chilling with friends on Marshfield Beach when he got a call from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, north of the I-95 loop, Pat Connaughton had just completed an NBA combine-like vertical leap test at Woburn's Athletic Evolution, with trainer Erik Kaloyanides, and was on the phone with Notre Dame basketball assistant Rod Balanis to see how his fellow incoming freshmen did. Then a number came up from a Padres scout.

West of the city in Sudbury, Adam Ravenelle had shut off the MLB Draft ticker on his computer and got ready for practice at Lincoln-Sudbury, only to hear his mother screaming joy two rooms over as the Yankees made him their pick.

And in Norwood, John Gorman was babysitting his sister when his father got a call from a Red Sox scout to watch John's name come across the screen.

For the local high school prospects projected to get selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, this third and final day was a pretty relaxing one. Magliozzi, a righthander out of Dexter School, went in the 35th round to the Rays, followed by St. John's Prep's Connaughton in the 38th, Ravenelle in the 44th, and Catholic Memorial's Gorman in the 50th.

From a pure talent perspective, the trio of Magliozzi, Connaughton and Ravenelle were all projected as top 10 round potential. None of the parties were surprised with where they landed, though they all had their own reasons.

Connaughton, a 6-foot-4 fireballer, signed a National Letter of Intent last November to play both basketball and baseball with Notre Dame. His strong commitment to Irish hoops coach Mike Brey made him a difficult sign in the eyes of many Major League scouts, and at the end of day he was just honored hear his name held in such high regard. At various points during the spring, he was ranked among the top 100 high schoolers by both Baseball America and ESPN's Keith Law.

"People had said I could anywhere between the second and fifth rounds, even top 10, so I was happy with the location of where I could have been drafted. I mean yeah, it's unfortunate that I didn't get drafted there, but I don't really care. I'm going to Notre Dame, I'm going to work hard, and we'll see what happens in three years."

Ravenelle had made his inclination to honor his Vanderbilt commitment with scouts, so he wasn't expecting big things in spite of his big-league potential.

"It's kinda what I expected to be, a late round pick if anything," he said. "Most scouts knew I wanted to go to Vanderbilt, but I would keep my options open for the draft. That's what made me slip as far as I did."

"I was really surprised, but going into it I knew that if I told people what I wanted for a number I might drop a little bit," Magliozzi said. "But things ended up working out."

Magliozzi said he is "not necessarily" ready to give the Gators his full attention, saying "As of right now, we'll see what the Rays have to offer and go from there."

Gorman, meanwhile, was all smiles, and struggled to put his emotions into words.

"It was the longest 20 minutes of my life [after the phone call]," Gorman laughed. "I was just in shock. My mom jumped up and grabbed me, hugged me. I really didn’t show much emotion, because I didn’t know what to think at the moment. It's still just settling in right now."

And with that, Gorman was off to practice with Norwood Legion Post 70 in just a few short hours. Just another day.