June 7, 2013 at 7:21 PM
After no players from New England schools were drafted on day one of the 2013 MLB Draft, five players from the region were selected on day two. Four hailed from Connecticut, while the last came from Dartmouth in New Hampshire. In addition, two high school players were selected, including the first New England player taken, that at number 97 overall.
Here are the players, in order of selection:
#97 Rays, Thomas Milone, CF, Masuk High School: Milone is an athletic center fielder who batted .471 and stole 28 bases for Masuk High School during his senior campaign. According to Perfect Game, scouts project Milone to have the potential for above-average power once he fully develops, giving the outfielder an intriguing profile when you factor in his speed and solid hit tool. Milone won Connecticut's Gatorade High School Player of the Year award for 2013 and was also a star football player. He is committed to the University of Connecticut for next fall, so he will have a decision to make on whether or not to go pro.
#116 Mets, L.J. Mazzilli, 2B, University of Connecticut: Mazzilli was drafted by the Minnesota Twins 280th overall in the 2012 draft, but chose to return to UConn for his senior season. The Mets nabbed him in Round 4 in this year's draft, meaning the 2013 All-Big East First Team performer was the highest selection from a New England college. A three-year starter at UConn, Mazzilli is the son of former major league player and manager Lee Mazzilli. Scouts wonder if he would be a better fit in left field than second base in pro ball, but nevertheless, Mazzilli is a well-rounded player who batted above .300 in every year of his collegiate career and even stole 29 bases during his senior season.
#194 Yankees, John Murphy, SS, Sacred Heart University: Murphy led Sacred Heart in nearly every offensive category this season, batting .367 with four home runs and 76 hits in 57 games. The Seymour, Conn. native also played for the Bourne Braves last summerin the Cape Cod League, where he batted .308 with four home runs in 27 contests. His ceiling is likely that of a utility player, though he could debut at a fairly high level in the minors given his four years of college experience, per MLB.com.
#239 Pirates, Neil Kozikowski, RHP, Avon Old Farms: A prep right-hander from Burlington, Conn., Kozikowski is a 6-foot-3 pitcher whose fastball has been clocked in the upper-80s, according to Perfect Game. He also mixes in a developing slider that has plus potential and a changeup, while his lean frame leaves the possibility for further projection.
#279 Orioles, Mitch Horacek, LHP, Dartmouth: Horacek was the first New England college pitcher selected in the draft and had his best year as a junior for Dartmouth in 2013. In 45 innings pitched, Horacek struck out 42 batters and walked 10, while posting a 2.20 ERA. Horacek does have another year of eligibility remaining, so it will be interesting to see if he signs with the Orioles.
Beyond this group, there were also four players drafted in the first two days who were originally from New England. Kevin Ziomek, a left-handed pitcher from Vanderbilt, was the first player with New England ties to be selected, going at number 58 overall to the Detroit Tigers in Round 2. Ziomek went to Amherst Regional High School in Mass. and graduated in 2010. Ryan Horstman, who grew up in South Hadley, Mass., was drafted with the 117th pick by the Seattle Mariners after three seasons at Rutgers University. Additionally, the San Francisco Giants picked outfielder Tyler Horan of Virginia Tech at number 252 overall. Horan graduated from B.C. High in 2009 and played in the Cape Cod League last summer. Lastly, Thomas Pannone, a left-hander who grew up in Cranston, R.I., was taken by the Cleveland Indians in Round 9 with pick number 261.
Alex Skillin is a Staff Editor for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @AlexSkillin.