Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Five Area Players Go in MLB Draft

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Five Area Players Go in MLB Draft

Article excerpt

SARASOTA

BASEBALL: All five expect to sign with teams that selected them Friday

Three former Sarasota Sailors along with a long, tall ex- Riverview Ram and a slugger for the Southeast Seminoles received the phone call of a lifetime on Friday.

Led by 6-foot-7 southpaw Eric Skoglund, who starred at the University of Central Florida in Orlando after graduating from Sarasota High, all five area players were selected on the second day of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.

After Skoglund got the call from the Kansas City Royals in the third round (No. 92 overall), 6-7 right-hander Chad Sobotka, who did not start pitching until late in his high school career at Riverview, went No. 133 overall in the fourth round to the Atlanta Braves.

Michael Suchy, a 6-3, 220- pound slugging outfielder for Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers after starring at Southeast, was snatched by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round (No. 161 overall).

Former Sarasota teammates Keith Curcio and Danny Mars were selected back-to-back in the sixth round, No. 193 and No. 194, respectively. Like Sobotka, Curcio was selected by the Braves, while Mars was tabbed by the Boston Red Sox.

All five draftees said they expect to sign contracts and begin their professional careers.

"I'll definitely sleep better tonight," Skoglund said. "It's been a tough few days. It got pretty hectic and stressful as the draft grew closer. But it's all been well worth it. Right now I feel relieved and blessed. I'm getting the opportunity to play Major League Baseball."

Skoglund made the right choice three years ago when the Pirates drafted him in the 16th round (No. 482 overall), coming out of high school. He elected not to sign, attended college and watched his draft stock rise.

Skoglund's signing bonus will be $576,000.

"I was home, watching and waiting with my family," Skoglund said. "I had an idea of where I would go. The mid-third round was about the latest I thought I would be picked.

"We were all anticipating a call. Now, we're all set."

Sobotka is expecting a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $400,000 from the Braves. …

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