MLB Draft Dreams Fulfilled

Coach Rich Hill has seen several former Toreros find success in the major leagues. Photo courtesy of Inside Pitch Magazine/Twitter.

Seven Toreros selected in June’s MLB draft
     It is an annual ritual for baseball’s best amateur talents. Together with their families, they gather around living rooms and kitchen tables waiting for the phone to ring.
They hope that on the other end of the line will be a Major League Baseball general manager or scouting director, offering their congratulations on being selected in that year’s iteration of the draft. Sometimes, the call of a lifetime follows. Many times, though, the phone sits silent.
     Fortunately, that phone rang several times for the University of San Diego’s newest class of alumni. Seven players were selected in this June’s MLB draft, with six signing contracts to begin their professional careers.
     Those six — Riley Adams, Roman Garcia, Jonathan Teaney, Sean Barry, Colton Waltner, and Troy Conyers — will now be dispersed to minor league teams across the country, hoping to play well enough to warrant an eventual call-up to the Major Leagues.
As a whole, the class signaled a continuation of the Toreros’ success in graduating players to the next level, marking the third time in four years that at least seven players were selected.
     USD currently has six alumni on Major League rosters, including last year’s National League Most Valuable Player, Kris Bryant.
     With such a strong track record, USD holds a reputation as one of the top collegiate baseball programs on the West Coast. Rich Hill, the program’s head coach since 1999, has noted that such success is no accident.
     “As a coaching staff, we’re committed to the development of the person that’s consistent with the mission and values of the university,” Hill said. “We want to make our guys better players and better people.”
     In addition, Hill and his coaches recognize that there is no better feeling than seeing a former player go on to have success after college.
“The most pride and joy our staff can have is seeing our guys get drafted, especially those who were drafted low or were non-draftees out of high school,” Hill said. “It’s a direct reflection of our commitment to developing our players.”
     The impressive group of baseball alumni drafted by major league teams this June — five of whom also earned their degrees — speaks to the level of high-end ability developed by the university on a yearly basis both on and off the playing field. As successful individuals move on, others arrive to take their places. Through all of the talent turnover, it remains clear that Toreros leave legacies that last.
Photos courtesy of USD Athletics. Graphics courtesy of Rita Srekais and Max Escutia/The USD Vista
Noah Hilton | Sports Editor | The USD Vista