A strong showing by South Jersey products in the MLB Draft

by Marc Narducci | Jul 30, 2021
A strong showing by South Jersey products in the MLB Draft

 While recent graduates Chase Petty of Mainland and Anthony Solometo of Bishop Eustace justifiably were the South Jersey highlighters in the recent Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, there were several others who were chosen. Here is the list of players with roots to the seven-county South Jersey area who were selected in the 20-round draft.


Chase Petty, RHP Mainland. The recent graduate was the highest drafted local player, selected 26th overall in the first round by the Minnesota Twins. At press time he had yet to sign. The assigned slot value for the 26th pick is $2.65 million. Teams can pay a player above or below the slot. Petty was one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the draft, being clocked at 101 MPH. 

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Anthony Solometo, LHP Bishop Eustace. The recent graduate was the first player selected in the second round, 37th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has already signed with the Pirates, with MLB.com listing the bonus as $2.8 million. The slot value for the 37th pick was $2 million, so Solometo signed well above slot in bypassing a scholarship to the University of North Carolina. 



Joey Loperfido, OF Duke (Haddonfield High graduate). A centerfielder, Loperfido was the MVP of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. He was selected in the seventh round by the Houston Astros, the 208th overall selection. MLB.com lists his signing bonus as $72,500. This past season Loperfido batted .374 with a .473 on base percentage, .612 slugging percentage, eight home runs, three triples, 19 doubles, 29 RBI and 56 runs scored. 


CJ Widger, LHP Rowan College at Gloucester County (Pennsville High graduate). He was selected in the 10th round (284th overall) by the Texas Rangers. This season the 6-foot-6 lefty was 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA for a Rowan College at Gloucester County team that earned a berth in the Junior College World Series. He is the son of Chris Widger, also a Pennsville graduate who spent a decade in the Major Leagues.


Josh Hood, SS Penn (St. Augustine graduate). Hood was selected in the 20th round by the Boston Red Sox. What is interesting is that he didn’t play this past season, looking to keep a year of eligibility because Penn played a shortened season. In 2019 as a freshman he was Ivy League Rookie of the Year and first-team all-Ivy, while batting .331 with a team-high eight home runs along with 42 RBI. In 2020, Penn played a shortened season that was halted by COVID. In eight games he hit .263 with 10 hits and six RBI.

Photo Provided by: Penn Athletics

 


Author: Marc Narducci

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