The 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft concluded Wednesday, June 5, and seven current and former Holly Springs Salamanders were selected.
The first Salamander off the board was Matt Cronin, drafted by the Washington Nationals in the fourth round, 123rd overall. Cronin was the third of 92 Coastal Plain League players selected behind former Savannah Banana, Braden Shewmake (21st overall) and High Point-Thomasville HiTom Evan Edwards (111th overall).
Cronin, along with fellow MLB draftee Ben Gross, composed the top duo for the Salamanders’ pitching staff in 2017. He appeared in 12 games, posting a 1.96 earned run average in 18.1 innings, while striking out 32. Gross was taken in the 10th round, 299th overall, by the Minnesota Twins. He tossed 27.1 innings with a 1.98 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 2017.
Two picks after Gross, 2016 Salamander Chad Sykes was selected by the Los Angeles Angels after allowing just seven runs in 56 innings during his senior year at UNC Greensboro.
Later on, his Holly Springs teammate Jake Washer was drafted in the 29th round by the Cubs.
2017 CPL All-star Cory Wood was picked in the 19th, round by Pittsburgh. The second baseman for Coastal Carolina played 43 games with a .452 on base percentage for Holly Springs.
Two current Salamanders also received phone calls Wednesday night. Scott McKeon was selected by the Tigers in the 21st round and his Coastal Carolina teammate Jake Wright was drafted by the Pirates in the 32nd round.