Miami Dade College has churned out some of the top talent in professional baseball.
The program has served as the former stomping grounds for current big leaguers Brian Goodwin and Victor Caratini, two-time World Series champion Bucky Dent and Hall of Famer Mike Piazza.
In the past 35 years, more than 175 MDC baseball players have been selected in the annual Major League Baseball draft.
However, for the first time since 1985, no MDC players were selected in the MLB Draft—which took place virtually from June 10-11.
This year’s draft was limited to only five rounds—it’s usually 40 rounds—but the abbreviated draft was a cost-cutting measure in response to lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It hurts because a lot of kids didn’t get a chance to live out their dream and play professionally right now,” said MDC head baseball coach Adrian Morales.
Four MDC players were eligible for this year’s draft. They are: outfielder Ian Jenkins, who hit five home runs and 28 hits in 20 games; freshman pitcher William Silva, who posted a 10.29 ERA in seven appearances; shortstop Henry Wallen, who scored 16 runs and hit 23 singles in 20 games and outfielder Christopher Patterson, who scored 15 runs and stole six bases in 14 games.
Not having a player selected in the MLB Draft is unusual for MDC. According to the MLB Draft Tracker website, there have been more than 200 MDC players drafted in the past 55 years, and 73 of them have played at least one game in the Major Leagues.
The shortened season—canceled on March 13 after only 23 games—limited players’ chances to be scouted by professional teams. College recruiters also had fewer opportunities to attend games and practices to evaluate players.
Morales and his assistant coaches created highlight videos for sophomores, touting them to coaches they know in hopes of elongating their collegiate baseball careers.
“Being able to provide the opportunity to students to play games and expose them throughout the season is the best way for them to be evaluated and recruited,” said Athletic Director Alysia Dyer. “We have had to adjust to the new normal and make major adjustments in the way we run the department, manage our student study hall, workouts and recruiting.”
Despite being disappointed that none of his players were drafted this year, Morales said it’s understandable given the global pandemic currently engulfing the country.
“It’s part of our life right now, you know, everybody’s going through it,” Morales said. “And just because we didn’t get anybody drafted this year with limited [rounds] doesn’t mean we didn’t have a good team or good players.”
The 2019-20 MDC baseball team finished the season with a 17-6 record. Their last game was on March 12 in Fort Pierce, a 7-3 win versus Indian River State College.