The Bishop Hendricken baseball program had two former players selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.
The 2012 draft was even better for the Hawks.
After 2009 graduate Evan Marzilli was selected in the eighth round by Arizona last Tuesday, two more players with Hendricken ties got the call on Wednesday. Harvard pitcher and 2008 grad Andrew Ferreira went in the 32nd round to Minnesota, and current Hawk Tom Pannone was drafted in the 33rd round by the Chicago Cubs.
While all of those players have options as to what they’ll do now that they’ve been picked, getting the call was still a thrill.
“I was just sitting on my couch and I got a call from the Cubs,” Pannone said. “They said, ‘Congratulations, we drafted you.’ It was incredible. I can’t really describe it. It was just amazing.”
Pannone, a native of Cranston, has been a standout for the Hawks since his sophomore year. In the clinching game of the state championship series that season, Pannone went 3-for-3 with a home run and five RBI.
After a strong junior season, Pannone played summer ball in Florida last year and caught the eye of coaches at the University of Miami. He committed to play there in the fall.
As it is with a lot of top high-school prospects, professional baseball also emerged as a possibility for Pannone. He’s had scouts watching him all season, and they’ve seen him deliver a huge campaign. He’s been the team’s top hitter and one of its top pitchers.
The Cubs were among the teams that showed the most interest, and they selected Pannone with the sixth pick in the 33rd round, the 1,004th pick overall.
“They were really interested from junior year on,” Pannone said. “They’ve been keeping an eye on me.”
Now Pannone will have to weigh his options. He has until July 13 to sign with the Cubs or stick with his commitment to Miami. He said he isn’t leaning one way or the other yet.
“I have to make a big decision with my family about whether I’m going to go to college or go play professional baseball,” Pannone said. “I don’t know at this point.”
One round before Pannone heard his name called, former Hawk Ferreira went off the board. The 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher was selected with the second pick in the 32nd round by the Twins, 970th overall.
Ferreira, who was also a football standout at Hendricken, pitched only one season of varsity baseball for the Hawks but put up impressive numbers.
At Harvard, he missed all of the 2011 season with an arm injury but came back this year and flashed his potential. While he had an ERA above six, he struck out 35 in 27.1 innings pitched. Left-handed batters went just 4-for-29 against him all season.