Derrick Loveless avoided the computer most of the day. Well, at least Major League Baseball‘s Web site.
“I didn’t want to sit there and watch the picks go by and wonder if I was next,” the Solon outfielder said.
In fact, it was a friend who messaged him on Facebook late Tuesday night, informing him he had been taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round of MLB’s First-Year Player Draft. Loveless was the 829th overall selection.
“They were the ones who have shown the most interest in me the past year,” said Loveless. “Getting taken in any round I would have been happy with. It’s just an honor to be recognized among all the college and high school players in the country.”
An athletic 6-foot-1 left-handed hitting outfielder, Loveless’ best days on the diamond are definitely ahead of him. He has never concentrated on baseball, also playing football and soccer at Solon and running track.
An elite all-stater last season by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association, Loveless has signed to play baseball at Iowa, where his father, Derrius, played football. He was going to talk further Tuesday night with the Blue Jays but had been told by their area scout that the club would continue to monitor him during Solon’s season.
Loveless was off to a 16-for-31 start in 10 games for the Spartans, with two home runs, 18 RBIs and seven stolen bases.
“At this point, I don’t really know what’s really going to happen,” Loveless said, when asked if he had a feeling whether he’d eventually turn pro or go to college.
Others selected Tuesday included former Marion prep Matt Holland (22nd round by Philadelphia Phillies), an outfielder who just completed his senior season at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Holland began his college career at Iowa Central Community College.
Former Cascade prep and Northern Iowa pitcher Colin Rea was the first Iowan drafted, going in the 12th round to San Diego. Rea transferred to St. Petersburg (Fla.) Community College and Indiana State after UNI disbanded its baseball pgoram.
Rounds 31 through 50 of the draft will be conducted Wednesday. Anticipate Cedwar Rapids Washington pitcher Dakota Freese to be selected, among others.