Two Shortstops, Both Little League Alumni, Taken in First 12 Picks of Major League Draft
Two young shortstops that played Little League Baseball were picked in the first round of the Major League Draft, including the first overall pick.
Carlos Correa, a 6-4, 190-pound native of Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico, was the first amateur player off the board taken by the Houston Astros and in the process made history. Correa is the first player from Puerto Rico to be the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft, despite the fact some of the best players in the history of the game have hailed from Puerto Rico. Baseball Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Roberto Alomar, a Little League alum, are both from Puerto Rico along with other notable players such as retired catcher Ivan Rodriguez and current St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Correa, who has committed to play collegiate baseball at Miami University, if he does not sign with the Astros, is the first shortstop taken No. 1 overall since 2008 (Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays), and is just the fourth shortstop taken first overall since 1994.
Correa, who is 17 years old, has played in all divisions of Little League program, and is currently playing in the Big League Division in Puerto Rico.
Gavin Cecchini, a 6-0, 175-pounder who is 18 years old, just finished his senior year at Barbe (La.) High School where he helped his team to the state Class 5A title hitting .413 with seven home runs, 32 RBI and 31 stolen bases. Cecchini was the 12th overall selection in the draft by the New York Mets.
Cecchini was a member of championship team from the Southwestern Region that earned a spot in the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series. The South Lake Charles Little League won one of its three games at the World Series with Cecchini making the start in the only win going six innings, but getting a no-decision, in a nine-inning, 1-0 victory over the Midwest representative from Columbia, Mo. Cecchini had two hits in eight at-bats in the three World Series games.
Gavin’s brother, Garin, was drafted in 2010 by Boston and is playing at the Class A level for the Red Sox. Gavin had committed to play collegiately at the University of Mississippi.
“We are happy for all the players and their families as they have the chance to continue pursuing their dream to play in the Major Leagues,” Stephen D. Keener, President the Chief Executive Officer for Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “I’m sure all the players will be able to use the lessons learned in Little League to help them as they move forward with their careers.”
The Astros took another Little League alum in the third round (96th overall pick) when they drafted Brady Rodgers, a right-handed pitcher from Arizona State. Rodgers, who had a 10-3 record this season with a 2.27 ERA earning first-team All-PAC-12 honors, played in the 2003 Little League Baseball World Series for the Southwestern Region champions, Lamar Little League from Richmond, Texas.
Another player from the 2003 World Series, Dario Pizzano, was also selected in the draft when he was selected in the 15th round by the Seattle Mariners. Pizzano, who just completed his junior season at Columbia University where he was the Ivy League Player of the Year hitting .360 with 36 RBI, was a member of the Saugus (Mass.) American Little League squad that advanced to the U.S. Final by defeating Rodgers’ team, 14-13, in the U.S. semifinal. Pizzano is an outfielder.
Another former Little League Baseball World Series player, Phildrick Llewellyn, was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 13th round. Llewellyn helped Pabao Little League from Willemstad, Curacao, earn a berth in the 2006 World Series where he had a pair of doubles in three games. Llewellyn just completed his senior season at Trinity Christian Academy in Deltona, Fla. He is a catcher.
Editor’s Note: If you know of a Little League graduate who is drafted, please contact Little League’s Director of Media Relations, Steve Barr, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.