St. Dominic High School head baseball coach Richard Garrett was sitting at his desk on Tuesday, June 5 when his BlackBerry began “buzzing like a pinball machine.”
Immediately he knew what had happened as he saw various texts from assistant coaches and players that read “sixth round.”
The text barrage was to let him know that former St. Dominic starting pitcher — and current Johnnie — Kyle Hansen was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the sixth round, 201st overall, of this year’s MLB draft.
“I was so happy for him,” said Garrett, who waited about 30 minutes before he called his former player to congratulate him.
Hansen, as well as four other players — Jeremy Baltz, Matt Carasiti, Matt Wessinger and Sean Hagan— were all taken from St. John’s in the draft.
The 16-year head coach said even during Hansen’s high school days in Oyster Bay, he knew the righty had the stuff to play in the majors. He added Hansen will without a doubt be inducted into the St. Dominic Athletic Hall of Fame, which the school is currently building for next year.
In his senior year at the school, Hansen led the Bayhawks to a first-ever championship in the 53-year history of the Nassau Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association (NSCHSAA), closing out the final game over St. John the Baptist, 6-4.
“Kyle was the complete package,” Garrett said. “He had the work ethic to get better and stronger, and the desire to push himself at all times.”
Teams also took notice of those tools. Garrett said at every game Hansen pitched there would be around 30 major league scouts in attendance, wielding radar guns and watching his every move.
When high school came to an end, Hansen was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 40th round of the 2009 MLB draft.
But at that time he felt he still needed to improve before heading to the pros.
“I didn’t feel like I was ready to go. I was still 18 years old,” Hansen said. “I thought college would help me advance myself.”
Garrett, who is also the dean of schools at the high school, agreed that college was a good idea and helped him through the process. But he always thought no matter what, Hansen would make it to the majors.
Garrett had also coached Hansen’s older brother, Craig, in a summer league. The elder Hansen was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2005, and Garrett said the younger brother’s pitching was similar.
So when Garrett heard Hansen was drafted it came as no surprise, and he believes Hansen will be pitching on a major league mound very soon.
“Maybe two years we’ll see him in a major league ballpark,” Garrett predicted. “The game gets faster. [But] the bases stay the same. They’ll [The White Sox] teach him the changes of speeds.”
Although he was drafted, Hansen still hasn’t made the decision on whether he will pitch one more year for St. John’s or whether he will move to the majors.
But whenever that time comes Garrett said the pitcher will be a shoo-in for the high school’s Hall of Fame.
“It will be an honor,” Hansen said about being inducted. “A lot of baseball talent has come out of St. Dom’s and a lot more will come out of there until coach calls it quits.”