Not many Saint Mary’s students get their first jobs out of college in Grand Junction, Colorado, or Greeneville, Tennessee, or Wappinger Falls, New York. Then again, not many Saint Mary’s students get their first jobs out of college playing baseball.
Four members of last season’s Gaels baseball team spent their summer playing professional baseball after being selected by Major League teams in the annual draft of amateur players in June. And the road to a possible career in the big leagues begins in the minor leagues, where players hone their skills and earn the chance to move up. (Being assigned to the minors is no insult. Since 1989, only two players have gone directly from college to the major leagues.)
Pitcher Ben Griset, a junior last year, was the first Saint Mary’s player selected, in the 13th round by the Tampa Bay Rays. He began his pro career in Wappinger Falls with the Hudson Valley Renegades. Other Gaels selected were outfielder Brenden Kalfus by the Toronto Blue Jays (assigned to the Vancouver, B.C., Canadians), pitcher Jordan Mills by the Houston Astros (sent to the Greeneville Astros) and outfielder Cole Norton by the Colorado Rockies (assigned to the Grand Junction Rockies).
Under baseball rules, players attending four-year colleges cannot be drafted any earlier than after their junior year. Kalfus and Norton both graduated in June. Griset and Mills, both juniors last year, hope to complete their degrees during baseball’s off-season.
— J.G. Preston
Number of Saint Mary’s players who have been drafted by major league teams since 1965 (when the draft system began): 60; Most recent Gael to play in the major leagues: Mark Teahen, from 2005–11.