Shortstop JC Cardenas, catcher Greg Brodzinski, and Pitcher Joeanthony Rivera made it three picks for the Barry Buccaneers in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
It is the second-most players from the Bucs tabbed in a single draft. This also marks the sixth time in the last nine years that the Bucs have had multiple draft picks. Four players went from the 2009 team that went 44-11 and was ranked number one in the country for much of the year, including catcher Yan Gomes – the only Buccaneer currently in the majors.
“It was always my goal to get drafted,” Cardenas said. “My dream, since I was a little kid, has been to play pro ball. The Blue Jays were my first workout and they've been following me since high school. It feels really good to be going somewhere I'm wanted and appreciated.”
Cardenas will report to the Blue Jays minor league facility in Dunedin, Fla., and from there be assigned in the system.
“I'm just happy to get this opportunity, for sure,” Brodzinski said. “They've [Philadelphia Phillies] been my favorite team my whole life. It's just a dream come true, to get drafted in the 18th round. To get drafted by the team you've pulled for your whole life, it's just surreal.”
Brodzinski will likely report to the Phillies' Clearwater facility and be assigned in the system from there.
Rivera went in the 34th round (1008 overall) to the Texas Rangers. Brodzinski was tabbed in the 18th round (534 overall) by the Philadelphia Phillies, and Cardenas became the highest pick in program history as he was selected in the sixth round (182 overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays.
“For me it's kind of a blessing," Rivera said. “After my freshman year (at Florida Gulf Coast), I didn't know if I would even play collegiate baseball, but Coach [Alex] Gonzalez helped get me back. Barry is having guys drafted all the time, so it's cool to be one of those guys.”
Rivera is expected to report either to short-season Spokane or the Rangers' facility in Surprise, Ariz.
Under Coach Marc Pavao, the Bucs have now had 18 players selected in 10 years.