As the sun made its way toward nightfall Friday, the University of Miami’s entire starting rotation — plus the outfielder who led the team in hitting — joyously began making plans to celebrate the moment.
Andy Suarez, Chris Diaz, Bryan Radziewski, Javi Salas and center fielder Dale Carey were all selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Suarez was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the second round (57th overall) late Thursday night. The other four were picked Friday.
“We’re a family,” Suarez said by phone. “Something good happens to one of us and we’re all happy. It’s an amazing honor.”
Diaz (9-1, 2.41 ERA) went to the Atlanta Braves in the fifth round; Radziewski (8-2, 2.86) went to the Houston Astros with the first pick in the ninth round; Salas (4-3, 2.92), who pitched a perfect game in March, went to the Milwaukee Brewers in the 10th round. And Carey, drafted in the seventh round (214th), will join Suarez with the Nationals.
All except for Carey, from Marietta, Georgia, are from the Miami area.
“It’s been a great ride,” Salas said. “Obviously, we started the season with high hopes and came a little short. But this is a great reflection of the program and coaching. Miami prepared us for this moment.”
Radziewski, who returned to UM after being picked in the 29th round in 2013, said he “got goosebumps” when he was drafted. “Four years at UM passed in front of my eyes, and now I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish.”
Carey, who led the team with a .305 average and was the only player to start all 63 games, was equally ecstatic.
“I was sitting down eating and I heard my dad scream and my name announced,” he said. “That ‘Oh my God! I just got drafted!’ feeling came over me. I couldn’t wait to hear my name called — so stressful. Finally, relief.”
Radziewski “guaranteed” that the players will keep in touch and follow each other through the years. “It still hurts that our season ended the way it did, but this team was different from the others — much closer,” he said.
The draft ends Saturday with rounds 11 through 40, when UM left fielder Tyler Palmer is expected to be taken.
“We’re all praying for him to be drafted,” Salas said of Palmer. “I’m sure Saturday will be his day.”
A total of four South Florida high school players were selected, including American pitcher Ronnie Williams, who was picked by the Cardinals late Thursday.
On Friday, Plantation American Heritage shortstop Milton Ramos went to the Mets at the start of the third round. Miami Dade College infielder Darren Seferina was taken by the Cardinals, and FIU pitcher Mike Franco went to Tampa Bay in the seventh round.
Miami signee Brian Gonzalez, a left-handed pitcher from Archbishop McCarthy, was taken in the third round by Baltimore.