College Sports

Burgos leads local picks

Alex Burgos said he was getting restless.

The State College of Florida left-handed pitcher was following Major League Baseball’s 2010 Amateur Draft, but his name wasn’t called just yet.

And then, in the fifth round the Detroit Tigers chose Burgos with the 163rd overall pick.

“I just started freaking out,” said Burgos over the phone from his home in Kissimmee. “I was getting 20 calls instantly at the same time, so it was pretty exciting.”

Burgos said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll sign or continue his collegiate career at Florida Southern, where he’s signed to play next season.

The Manatees’ ace had a scintillating sophomore season to lead the club to the Juco World Series.

“I had a conversation with the actual scout who drafted me,” Burgos said about Tigers scout Roslando Casanova. “And he just said he really wanted me, and that he’s going to fight for me.”

Casanova did, and that made Burgos the first draft choice among area ballplayers this year.

He joins several other SCF alumni as major league draft picks, including Jonathan Rodriguez, a teammate from the 2009 club.

Burgos was 13-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings prior to the Juco World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

He finished his junior college career on a sour note as the San Jacinto (Texas) College-North Gators roughed up the southpaw for eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Burgos said no offer has been made yet.

“He’s got his scholarship up to Florida Southern, which is guaranteed,” SCF head coach Tim Hill said. “And the fifth-round is also a good round to go in for what he’s accomplished. And like we told all of our guys, ‘Try not to sell yourself short, make sure this is what you want to do and make sure you’re going to be compensated.’”

The St. Louis Cardinals nabbed Burgos’ teammate and fellow pitcher, Josh Lucas, in the 21st round with the 649th overall pick.

The Cards also grabbed incoming SCF left-handed pitcher, Ben Freeman out of Lake Gibson High with their 11th round choice (No. 349 overall). Roderick Shoulders, another ballplayer bounded for the Manatees next season, was selected in the 20th round by the Boston Red Sox as the 623rd overall pick.

Blake Perry, a right-handed pitcher with The Pendleton School at IMG Academies, was selected in the sixth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who made him the 181st overall pick.

Originally from Danville, Ky., Perry transferred to IMG in August 2009. He returned to Kentucky on Monday and was eating lunch at Wendy’s with some friends when a scout with the Diamondbacks gave him a call.

“I wasn’t sitting around waiting and praying,” he said. “But it was nice to get a call.

“When I got the call, I was like, ‘Wow, this is real.’”

The 6-foot-5 Perry went 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA this year with IMG, striking out 29 in 29 1/3 innings. He has signed with Kentucky but hasn’t decided on whether he will go to school or sign with Arizona.

Dillon Moyer, also with The Pendleton School at IMG Academies, was taken in the 22nd round by the Minnesota Twins.

The shortstop was taken with the 675th overall pick.