UNC or MLB for CBA duo?
Shore Sports Zone talked with CBA’s Brandon Martorano and Luca Dalatri about the MLB Amateur Draft which continues on Friday with rounds 3-10. Both players are expected to be selected but where and if they’ll turn pro is very much up in the air
The MLB Amateur Draft resumes on Friday with rounds 3 through 10. On Thursday night, Barnegat pitcher Jason Groome became the highest ever Shore Conference MLB draft selection when he went #12 overall to the Boston Red Sox. Just four picks later, former Jackson Memorial and current University of Virginia catcher Matt Thaiss went to the Los Angeles Angels at #16. The big money for signing bonuses comes in the first round. Groome’s #12 slot with Boston has a price tag over $3.1 million dollars while Thaiss falls in a slot that goes over the $2.6 million dollar mark. Teams can offer below the assigned slot or pay over it which gives the MLB Amateur Draft many different layers. On top of that is the fact that the draft is comprised of high school players, college juniors, college seniors and junior college players. For CBA catcher Brandon Martorano and pitcher Luca Dalatri, day two of the draft comes with a lot of interesting choices. Both players are signed to play Division I baseball at North Carolina. Depending on where they are selected and how much bonus money is offered, both players can choose to become professionals right away and forego college. If they turn down a pro offer, they will re-enter the draft in three years following their junior campaign. SSZ talked with both players following their final high school baseball game, a 2-0 CBA win in the Shore Conference finals against Middletown South.
Here’s some perspective on the money involved with Friday’s draft. The top slot (the first pick in the 3rd round by the Philadelphia Phillies) has an allotted bonus slot of $813,500. The final pick in the 10th round has a slot of $156,500. Saturday’s the final day of the draft with rounds 11-40 and the top signing bonus is $100,000. Teams that offer over $100,000 for Day 3 picks would have that dollar amount reduced from their overall draft money pool. Martorano and Dalatri have both appeared on Top 200 prospect lists, but anything can happen over the next two days. When it comes to talent and potential, both Martorano and Dalatri have a high ceiling. Brandon’s had comparisons to Buster Posey in some scouting circles and has had the chance to work one on one with legendary catcher Pudge Rodriguez. Dalatri completed a high school career with a Shore Conference record 35-2 and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 118 to 4 in his senior season. Round three begins on Friday at 1:00 pm. The phone can ring at any moment over the next two days and then the decisions come. Pro ball or Chapel Hill? Signing bonus or college scholarship? Considering the way both of these young men have handled hype and pressure throughout their high school careers, it’s a safe bet that they’ll make the right decision. Mike Fox and rabid Tar Heel baseball fans are hoping that the CBA duo are late draft picks with a low signing bonus offer and Martorano and Dalatri spend the next three years chasing Omaha and the College World Series. But MLB teams always want the top prospects to get in their organization right away and the right number can make these players go from riding the CBA bus to riding the bus in the minor leagues.
One other Shore Conference product, Joey Rose of Toms River North, is also in the same situation. Rose, signed with Oklahoma State, is expected to be selected sometime over the next two days. SSZ will follow the draft and bring you the latest news and ultimate decision of these three great baseball players along with any other selections of players with local ties.