The University of Miami appears to have found its first baseman for the next three years.
And the Hurricanes added at least one high-end pitcher, too.
Alex Toral, who at this time last year was projected to be a top-20 pick in the MLB Draft, led Archbishop McCarthy to three state titles in his four years as the Mavericks’ starting first baseman.
Yet, he went undrafted largely because of his signing bonus requirements not matching the values placed by major-league teams. When reached by the Miami Herald on Wednesday, Toral said he was excited to join the Hurricanes and would enter the draft again in 2020.
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“I want to win a national championship and bring that [Miami] program back to life,” said Toral, referencing the Canes’ streak of 44 consecutive NCAA regional appearances that ended this season.
“I’m excited to start my summer courses and get after it in the weight room.”
Toral, a 6-2, 220-pounder, has rare power, according to McCarthy coach Rich Bielski.
“He was pitched to more carefully than any other player in South Florida,” Bielski said. “In one game as a sophomore, he hit two homers at Marlins Park, and one of them went to the walkway beyond the upper deck.”
Another McCarthy standout bypassed in the draft was right-hander Daniel Federman.
“I’m headed to Miami 100 percent, and Alex and I will be rooming together starting [July 1],” Federman said. “It was a win-win — either I got [the signing bonus] I wanted or I go to one of the best college baseball programs ever.”
Federman went 7-1 with a 1.56 ERA as a senior.
“He’s a bulldog who refuses to walk anyone and can throw four pitches for strikes,” Bielski said. “He and Alex were among the guys who led us to a lot of pile-ups [celebrations].
“Miami is getting two championship-bred players who know how to win.”
The 2017 MLB Draft concluded Wednesday with a marathon 30-round session. Just two Hurricanes were selected: center fielder Carl Chester (12th round, Tampa Bay) and right-hander Jesse Lepore (24th round, Rockies).
Six FIU players were drafted, including catcher J.C. Escarra (15th round, Orioles); catcher Zack Soria (18th round, Braves); reliever Dominic LoBrutto (18th round, Red Sox); shortstop Irving Lopez (19th round, Cardinals); right-hander Franklin Van Gurp (25th round, Giants); and right-hander Michael Agis (36th round, Rockies).
Twelve FIU recruits were drafted, including center fielder Heliot Ramos and catcher M.J. Melendez, who were picked on Monday; and Tuesday’s selections: switch-hitting outfielder Jonathan Rodriguez (Indians, third round) and right-hander Wilberto Rivera (Cardinals, eighth round).
On Wednesday, eight FIU recruits were drafted, including right-hander Christian Santana (Brewers, 15th round); left-hander Logan Allen (Orioles, 16th round); and Doral outfielder Andres Santana (Astros, 29th round).
Second baseman Jancarlos Cintron, who helped Nova Southeastern win the 2016 Division II national title, was drafted in the 24th round by Arizona. Two other NSU players were drafted later: first baseman Jeremy Vasquez (28th, Mets) and left-hander Joe DiBenedetto (29th, Blue Jays).
Miami Dade College right-hander Alex Valverde, who has signed with the University of Alabama, was drafted in the 22nd round by the Rays. He will pick between Tuscaloosa and Tampa.
Two former MDC players were also drafted: outfielder Kevin Williams, who is now at Sanford, was picked in the 13th round by the Angels; and left-hander Ivan Pelaez, now at Faulkner, was drafted in the 33rd round (Rays).
Among local high school players drafted Wednesday: Coral Springs right-hander Max Lazar (11, Brewers); Palmetto left-hander Matt Turner (11, Indians); American Heritage outfielder Justin Connell (11, Nationals); Calvary Christian left-hander Jake Eder (34, Mets); Doral Academy catcher Jose Garcia (38, Red Sox); Terra left-hander Joe Sanchez (39, Braves); and Westminster Christian third baseman D.J. Stewart (39, Phillies).