On Friday June 7, Cherry Hill native and Bishop Eustace class of 2009 alum Jimmy Yezzo received the call all guys dream of but few actually get. Yezzo had been selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.
The Washington Nationals selected Yezzo with the final pick of the seventh round, No. 226 overall.
“There were a lot of hugs and of course a little celebrating,” Yezzo said.
Yezzo had put together an impressive junior season at the University of Delaware in which he led the Colonial Athletic Association with a .410 batting average. His 96 hits included 28 doubles. Yezzo also ranked second in the league with 13 home runs and 64 RBIs while slugging .714.
“This is a very, very good looking hitter,” Nationals director of scouting Kris Kline said. “Very efficient, polished approach. Very strong, physical, but under control. “Short stroke, very hand-sy. A left-handed bat with a swing that is built to hit for average and power.”
Throughout his junior campaign, the draft was always in the back of his mind, Yezzo said.
“I was definitely aware of the numbers that I was putting up,” Yezzo said. “At the same point, I knew I had to focus and just keep doing what I was doing to be successful. I just wanted to keep having good at bats, to keep improving.”
The draft scene was pretty casual at the Yezzo home with just family and friends watching on the computer.
Yezzo was looking for friends and old teammates to be drafted in addition to him. When the call came, it wasn’t a total shock.
“Getting the call was not unexpected. I had worked out for most of the teams so I had an idea of when I may go,” Yezzo said. “But still I was incredibly excited when the call came through.”
The celebratory atmosphere didn’t last long as Yezzo’s focus immediately turned to the next step.
“As happy as I am, I also know there is a lot of work ahead of me,” Yezzo said. “The process is definitely not over, it’s just beginning.”
Yezzo was the first University of Delaware player to be selected in the first 10 rounds since outfielder Alex Buchholz was picked in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Reds in 2008.
Growing up in Cherry Hill, Yezzo was well aware of the Nationals as an organization as they’ve been a rival of the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East.
“These are teams that are always on television here, that you’re always seeing or people are talking about,” Yezzo said. “It’s cool to enter a division that I’m familiar with and know about.”
The next step for Yezzo will be to sign his professional contract — he will forgo his senior year at the University of Delaware — and then wait to see where the team tells him to report.
The Nationals have affiliates from Florida to Maryland to New York.
“That part is exciting. I’m anxious to know where I’m headed and excited to start the next step,” Yezzo said.