It took longer than expected, but Pinellas County is in on the MLB First-Year Player Draft action.
Corey Baptist, a 2013 Seminole High graduate and currently enrolled at St. Petersburg College, became the county's first selection on the draft's third day Saturday. The Detroit Tigers took the 6-foot-4, 215-pound first baseman in the 17th round with the 520th overall pick.
Former Dunedin High star Casey Turgeon joined Baptist on the draft board later in the day when he was selected in the 24th round, No. 735 overall, by the St. Louis Cardinals. Turgeon graduated from Dunedin in 2011 and is currently a junior second baseman at the University of Florida.
The county's first high school selection came in the 31st round when the Chicago Cubs took East Lake pitcher Brad Deppermann. The right-hander is currently signed to attend the University of North Florida this fall.
After receiving the call, Deppermann posted this comment on his Twitter account: “Thankful for the Cubs giving me the opportunity to play professional baseball! So excited to see what (the) future holds for me.”
The fact that no Pinellas County player heard his name called until Saturday comes as a bit of a surprise. This year's local draft class was not considered to be especially deep, but Osceola High senior pitcher Keith Weisenberg had been projected as a second-day talent.
This year's draft opened on Thursday with Rounds 1-2 and supplemental rounds televised live on the MLB Network. Day Two consisted of Rounds 3-10 and Day Three wrapped up the draft with Rounds 11-40.
Weisenberg signed a National Letter of Intent of attend Stanford University last year and that is likely where he will be next fall, regardless of being selected in the final rounds.
Friday night he posted a comment on his Twitter account reading: “Excited for the opportunity to play in the PAC-12 for @StanfordBSB “a dream delayed is not a dream denied” See you in 3 years, draft.”
Weisenberg was eventually selected in the 38th round by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 1,134th pick. Oftentimes players will continue to drop down the board if it is either announced or assumed that he will not sign.