Niagara Gazette — For the sixth time since 2005, a Niagara Purple Eagle has been selected in the MLB first-year player draft.
Right-handed pitcher Jordan Schwartz got the call Friday, taken 132nd overall in the fourth round by the Oakland Athletics. The junior became the second-highest drafted Purple Eagle in program history. Only Doug Farrell went higher, picked twice by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second and third rounds of 1971 and 1972.
“I’m really excited to go to a team that drafts guys and develops guys,” Schwartz said via phone from his home in Hornell, New York. “That’s what it’s all about. I’m really excited to be a part of that organization.”
Schwartz said he expected to be drafted somewhere in rounds 6-10. He and his family were tracking the draft when he received a call from his advisor.
“He said, ‘What do you think about the fourth round?’ We called the A’s back and struck a deal,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz led Niagara with a 3.12 ERA, 14 starts and five complete games. He led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with 109 strikeouts, a mark that ranked 16th nationally. He was named second team All-MAAC.
Players drafted into the MLB will sometimes return to school if they feel they could be drafted higher — and in turn earn more money — the following season. Schwartz and the Athletics already have a deal in place and he said he plans to turn pro immediately.
“My advisor said I’d go in the top 10 rounds,” Schwartz said. “I figured if I’m going to go in the top 10 rounds, I’m going to go play pro ball. After the 15th round, maybe I would’ve stayed in school.”
Schwartz said he wasn’t sure how the Athletics plan on using him. He said a few teams were willing to selecting him as a reliever later in the draft but that a fourth-round selection is more typical of a starter.
Next step for Schwartz will be officially signing his contract, which he expects to happen in the next few days. After that, he’ll await instruction from the Oakland front office on where to report.
Follow Niagara Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.