Nothing goes better than Knights in the Pros and baseball! With apologies to peanut butter and jelly, chicken and waffles, along with oil and vinegar, this allows your truly to kill two birds with one stone. The NFL, MLB, NBA, and now even NHL draft have come and gone in the last 60 days. (The WNBA draft was slightly out of range) Though no players from the current student body were selected, two young men who had signed a national letter of intent were chosen.
Harry Rutkowski and Davis Schneider were both selected in the 28th round of the MLB Draft on June 14. Both high school seniors signed NLIs for Rutgers baseball last fall. The last Rutgers baseball player selected was pitcher Howie Brey in 2016, who we interviewed during his rookie campaign here.
Rutkowski was taken by the Cincinnati Reds out of Woodbridge High School. The left handed pitcher 827th name selected also hit 11 home runs which scarletknights.com believes led New Jersey, though that seems low compared to years past. His pitching prowess had him as a first team all-state selection and even a player of the year after accumulating a 27-6 record, 1.11 ERA, with 348 Ks in only 244 innings at the high school level. Harry’s twitter page which was updated on June 22 still lists him as a Rutgers commit though so there’s a chance we see him in Scarlet next season. Another fellow with a Polish last name committed to RU and ended up with a nice MLB career having never thrown a pitch for the Knights, Joe Borowski.
Twenty-two picks later at 849, the Toronto Blue Jays called Schneider’s name. The third baseman from Eastern High School has changed his twitter profile from saying “Rutgers University Baseball Commit” to say “Toronto Blue Jays Organization”. This article confirms that the Philadelphia Inquirer’s South Jersey Player of the Year signed with Toronto and will not attend Rutgers. So unfortunately for Knights fans, the 2017 Rawlings Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America will not replace Chris Campbell as the Knights third baseman in 2018. As you can tell, position players selected out of high school are less common and more of a roll of the dice, so it is not very surprising that Davis is going to spend this year with the Jays rookie league club.
None of the 2017 team members were selected. For all the RU seniors in 2017, they still have a shot to catch on directly with a major league farm system or through the independent route, like R.J. Devish in 2016. It came as a surprise that Max Herrmann with his 90s fastball from the left side, Mike Carter’s average, and even Jawuan Harris’s tools were not called. Nevertheless they all have plenty of baseball left in them so the dream can continue if they so choose at the pro level, or in Harris’s case still on the banks.