Baseball – Tyler Ras Headlines Quartet of Shore Players Drafted on Wednesday
The Chicago Cubs selected Middletown North senior Tyler Ras in the 33rd round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Wednesday, making Ras the lone current Shore Conference senior to hear his name called in the 40 rounds of the selection process.
Ras is signed to play at the University of Alabama and if he can not come to terms with the Cubs on a signing bonus, he will head to Tuscaloosa to begin his collegiate career in the SEC.
Ras is coming off of a bizarre senior season in which he flashed the stuff that attracted scouts in the first place, did not allowed very many runs or baserunners, and yet still did not win a game for a Lions team that finished a disappointing 7-14. He finished his season 0-5 with a 1.56 ERA, 68 strikeouts, 15 walks and a WHIP just under 1.00 in 40 1/3 innings.
Ras was plagued by a lack of run support throughout the season, which had a lot to do with his unsightly mound record. During the 40-plus innings Ras was on the mound this season, Middletown North scored a total of four runs - three of which came against a 2-18 Donovan Catholic team.
Another plus in Ras's scouting report is his athleticism and two-way ability. He reached the 100-hit mark during his career at Middletown North and finished this season with a batting line of .390/.520/.559, including six doubles, two triples, 13 RBI and seven stolen bases. On defense, he played both center field and shortstop.
No Shore player was drafted straight out of high school last season but in the prior season, the Shore had four players drafted straight from the high school ranks. Jay Groome of Barnegat was drafted 12th overall by the Boston Red Sox and Joey Rose of Toms River North went in the fifth round to the Arizona Diamondbacks - both players who were not committed to a four-year college at the time of the draft.
Christian Brothers Academy teammates Brandon Martorano and Luca Dalatri - both of who are currently starters at the University of North Carolina - were drafted close to where Ras went as both had strong commitments to UNC. Martorano was selected in the 30th round by the Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies selected Dalatri in the penultimate 39th round.
Three other Shore Conference alumni were drafted from the college ranks on the draft's third and final day Wednesday.
Seton Hall University right-hander and former Rumson-Fair Haven standout Shane McCarthy was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the second-to-last pick of the 18th round. McCarthy was also drafted in 2017 18th round by the St. Louis Cardinals but elected to return to Seton Hall for his senior season.
In his final season with the Pirates, McCarthy led the team with 74 innings while going 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 16 walks.
McCarthy was the first of two Shore alums from Seton Hall to be drafted Wednesday. Former CBA standout and Pirates outfielder Ryan Ramiz went to the Seattle Mariners in the 23rd round on the heels of a senior campaign that saw Ramiz hit .316/.432/.427 with 13 doubles and three triples. Ramiz caught the Mariners eye with his solid outfield defense and a 13.5 percent strikeout rate against a walk rate of 16.8 percent.
As a senior at CBA, Ramiz hit .310 with five doubles, a triple and 25 runs scored at the top of the order for a Colts team that won the first of its three straight Monmouth County Tournament and Shore Conference Tournament titles.
Just 14 picks before the Cubs took Ras, fellow National League Central rival Pittsburgh selected former Red Bank Regional left-hander Joe Jacques out of Manhattan College. With a borderline sidearm delivery from the left side, Jacques went 1-2 over 38 innings that spanned nine appearances - eight starts of which were starts - during his redshirt senior year. Jacques sported a 2.61 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 12 walks.
As a senior at Red Bank, Jacques went 6-2 with a 1.50 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 51 innings.
The only Shore Conference alumni selected in the first two days of the draft was CBA alum and University of Pittsburgh right-hander Matt Pidich, who was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth round on Tuesday.