By Zach Gewelb
The St. John’s baseball team, coming off an impressive 40-17 season, had a school-record six players selected in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft earlier this month.
Senior Kevin Magee, a left-handed pitcher, was the first Red Storm player off the board. He was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the ninth round on the second day of the draft.
After struggling in 2015 and 2016, Magee turned things around during his junior and senior seasons with the Johnnies. His renaissance began in 2017, when he went 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA, the best mark of his career. He struck out 40 batters in 30 innings and didn’t allow a home run. Magee followed his stellar 2017 campaign with another strong effort in 2018. Appearing in a career-high 15 games, Magee pitched to a 7-3 record with a 2.67 ERA, while striking out 92 batters and walking just 15 in 77.2 innings pitched.
On the third day of the draft, five Johnnies were selected. Junior pitcher Michael LoPresti was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th Round; junior infielder Josh Shaw was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 19th Round; graduate student John Valente, a utility player, went to the Detroit Tigers in the 21st Round; senior outfielder/pitcher Jamie Galazin heard his name called by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd Round; and senior catcher Robert Boselli III was the last from St. John’s to be selected, going to the Cincinnati Reds in the 37th Round.
This marks the third time in program history that six players have been selected in the same draft class. The 2005 and 2015 Johnnies also had six players selected.
LoPresti’s strong junior year (4-3, 3.16 ERA, 55 strikeouts) made teams take notice, leading to his selection.
Shaw, who never missed a game — he started in 167 consecutive contests — in his three years with St. John’s, hit .316 with 20 extra-base hits and 46 RBI in 57 games in 2018.
Valente hit .360 this season, bringing his career average up to .353 with the Johnnies. He slugged five home runs and recorded 40 RBI as one of the Johnnies’ most reliable offensive weapons.
Galazin batted .329 with 44 RBI in 2018. He was an extra-base hit machine (26), which included a career-high six home runs and helped him build a .419 on-base percentage.
Boselli III hit .285 with 13 doubles, three triples and four dingers while driving in 39 runs during his second year with St. John’s — he had transferred from Mercer Community College ahead of the 2017 season.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe